International news coverage – in particular in the English language on Croatia has often been rather dubious. A notorious BBC report last year, gave the impression that Croatia is hopelessly corrupt and violent. This rather conveniently coincided with UK foreign office advice warning British tourists of underlying threats of terrorism and organised crime in Croatia. This absurd advice was later toned down somewhat.
Not mentioned by the BBC was the fact that the UK is vastly more violent than Croatia – it would have been more logical for the Foreign Office to advise the world to be cautious when visiting the UK.
The news station France 24 however, have shown the BBC how to do things. A new monthly series, entitled Europe District, is to look at the various candidate countries for EU membership – the ex-Yugoslavia and Turkey. The European Commission assists with its production.
The first programme takes a look at Croatia – ‘Croatia on Europe’s doorstep’. And very good it is too. It does cover difficult issues such as corruption and the Serb minority in Croatia – but these topics are done fairly and are not used in a one sided way to condemn Croatia. A particular highlight of the programme is an interview with Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, who gives a good account of herself. She comes over as confident herself and unapologetic about Croatia – something needed in the international arena.
Entirely agenda free, the programme is of great interest for those doing business in Croatia and indeed those simply interested in the country.
It can be seen – in English – on France 24’s website here.
BBC and others, take note.