Convergence Journalism and the Public Interest: The Case of Croatian Public Radio Television (HRT)

Tena Perišin ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: pdf (469 KB), English, Pages 155 – 172

This text deals with the transformation of Croatia’s public service, Croatian
Radio Television in the context of the integrated media and building a converged
newsroom. I compare the newsroom workflow at HRT with the daily
routines of its strongest commercial competitor – Nova TV and the good practices
of selected public service companies. At the end of 2012 the public service
media provider, Croatian Radio Television (HRT) published a new set
of rules and regulations and announced its reorganisation. The new HRT is
primarily looking for a new approach to the media and wishes to show that a
public service is no longer just radio and television, but a joint effort which
acts as new media. According to the new restructuring plan, the greatest challenge
is to establish the convergent integrated newsroom and consequently the
establishment of a single news media service. In view of its resources: technical,
human and financial, but also in view of the modes of financing (TV
licence fees and advertisements), it is naturally expected for Croatian Radio
Television not only to become a role model media that provides accurate, authentic
information in the public interest, but also to endorse innovation and
the use of new technologies. An enormous effort has to be undertaken to prove
that the convergence is not only about the quantity of journalistic content, but
also could bring quality. HRT is at the beginning of the changing process, yet
its goals and vision have not been communicated effectively. Most of the HRT
staff has not embraced the new vision, nor the professional, economic, and
logic argumentation that stands behind it. Most of them are sceptical and this
can slow down the speed of integration. It seems that for HRT, it is not enough
just to have a restructuring plan in place, but also a well thought out plan of
how to break down the resistance of its employees and motivate them to abandon
old habits. There is a lot to be done to create a working environment that
could fulfil the proclaimed mission to produce high-quality, trusted and varied
journalism (media content) that serves the society and democracy.

Convergence; Public Interest; News Values; Technology; Croatian Radio Television