Matija Babić (born 1978) is a Croatian journalist and entrepreneur best known for editing news website Index.hr.
As a student of University of Zagreb's Faculty of Political Sciences Babić began his career in the media in the late 1990s when he launched political news websites Vlast.net and Izbori.net. This caught attention of Globalnet, one of the pioneering Croatian ISPs, who hired him as editor of their web portal Online.hr. Although the portal managed to attract more readership during his tenure, the portal's parent company decided to cease funding the portal in late 2001 and in December 2002 Babić left Online.hr to found Index.hr, one of the first Croatian Internet-only news outlets.
Initially designed as a news aggregator, Index.hr provided news content from both Croatia and all around the world. The website quickly gained popularity in the early 2000s and over time more original content produced by the growing staff was being added to the site, until it became a popular media outlet in its own right. Around the same time the website gained a reputation for yellow journalism after exposing a series of scandals, the two most notable being the 2003 controversy stirred by a discovered recording of popular singer Marko Perković in which Perković publicly performed Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara, a song praising the WWII fascist Ustaše regime, and the 2004 celebrity sex tape scandal involving Severina Vučković, a pop singer. Babić's website was sued by Vučković for copyright infringement and breach of privacy, but the lawsuit was later dismissed by a Zagreb district court in July 2004.
On account of the website's success, the Austrian-based media concern Styria Medien AG (who owned Večernji list, one of the most widely circulated daily newspapers in the country) had hired Babić as editor-in-chief of 24sata, a new tabloid newspaper which was intended to target "young, urban and modern" readers. Babić left Index.hr and joined 24sata which was launched in March 2005 and soon established itself as Croatia's third daily newspaper in terms of circulation, behind Jutarnji list and Večernji list. However, it was also criticized for sensationalism and poor quality of writing, and Babić was sacked only four months later in July 2005, following an issue which featured a cover page with then Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and the headline "Everybody Hates Sanader". Babić then returned to Index.hr and continued to run the website, currently holding the title of "author and editor of the project".
Matija Babić, along with Vana Šalov Violić, was accused of damaging Prva stranica d.o.o. company for 2,8 millions of kunas with fictitious contracts. In April 2015, he pleaded guilty at county court in Zagreb. He got sentenced to a year in jail, but the sentence was replaced by a year of community service. Additionally, Matija Babić has to pay a fine of 300 000 kunas, while Vana Šalov Violić has to pay a fine of 150 000 kunas. They are both obliged to pay up 1 000 000 kunas to state budget, and return 600 000 kunas to Prva stranica d.o.o..