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The worlds of newspaper publishing, politics, and business collide in the drama The Paper, the first television series from Croatia to screen on Netflix.

The Paper (Novine)
The Paper (Novine) — Image courtesy of Netflix

Set in Rijeka, The Paper (Novine) revolves around the goings-on at Novine, a (fictional) local daily and the last independent newspaper in the port city.

The series opens in the dead of night with a horrific car crash on an empty stretch of road, save for a homeless man who flees the wreckage behind him. Also escaping the scene is the driver who caused the three fatalities. In trying to get details about the accident for a story, Novine reporter Andrej Marinkovic is met with stonewalling by the police, in particular by his best man Toni Nardelli.

At the Novine offices, investigative journalist Dijana Mitrovic wants to do a story about construction tycoon Mario Kardum buying the paper, but managing editor Nikola Martic and editor-in-chief Martin Vidov pass on it. It’s a decision the two men come to regret. And it isn’t the only one.

Elsewhere in Rijeka, Dijana’s sister Anja, the wife of Mayor Ludvig Tomasevic’s right-hand man Marko Mladenovic, is freaking out about the books for their company, Tetra Services. She doesn’t understand why they’ve been billing and making a mint for work they haven’t done. (Anja also doesn’t know Dijana has been sleeping with Marko.)

Meanwhile, more digging by Novine journalists turns up dirt, but not necessarily evidence, that links Karzum, his mother Dubravka, Nardelli, and other senior members of the police and government ministries in shady business dealings as well as the car crash.

And after Karzum makes quick work of buying Novine following an unflattering story, and turning the paper’s management into an oligarchy, life in and out of the newsroom, boardroom, city hall, and police station, not to mention church, changes for all involved.

The Paper is a dense and tightly-packed drama with numerous intersecting threads and a lot of characters. To be honest, I had to take notes to keep up with who’s who. But still, the series offers an intriguing look at the different worlds journalists must navigate to deliver the news — whether the stories under their bylines are of their or someone else’s making.

Written by former journalist-turned-novelist Ivica Djikic, The Paper features Branka Katic (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Trpimir Jurkic (Not All About the Money), Alexander Cvetkovic (Hermano), Zijad Gracic (Children of the Fall), Olga Pakalovic (The Avalanche), Edita Karadjole (Ministry of Love), Zdenko Jelcic (The Constitution), Tihana Lazovic (On the Other Side), Mijo Jurisic (Halima’s Path), Dajana Culjak (Zg80), Alen Liveric (Rest in Peace), Dragan Despot (Rest in Peace), and Goran Markovic (The High Sun).

The Paper: Season 1 is currently streaming in the US, UK, and nearly 190 other territories on Netflix.

Filming of Season 2 recently wrapped, so stay tuned for updates about it.
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Euro TV to Watch: Binge-Worthy Croatian Drama “The Paper” (“Novine”)
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