Recently, a lot of discussions have been caused by the proposal to change the media legislation, according to which the money from the contribution for Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVS) would be distributed differently, and the rules for appointing the director of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) would be different.
According to the proposal, three percent of the RTV contribution would be allocated for the STA, and five percent would be allocated for the media fund, with which the state has been subsidizing new content in the Slovenian media for years.
The proposal met with great resistance in the left-wing part of politics – LMŠ, SD and Levica – and in the Slovene Association of Journalists, which is considered to be in favor of the political left.
There were accusations of political interference in the media, destruction of the public service RTVS and the like. But would that really happen?
It should be recalled that RTVS employs half as many people as Austrian RTV, with Austria having five times the population. Annually, our RTV house manages a contribution of around 100 million euros, so there is still a lot of room for rationalization or for part of the contribution to be used for other needs.
On the other hand, the proposal would give STA more money than before (around one million euros), which means that it would have to pay less attention to its marketing activity, which is currently taking on staff to carry out its core business, that is to provide news and content of public interest.
After 10 years of salaries being frozen at STA, they could finally raise these as well. There could also be a replacement for the director of the STA, Bojan Veselinovič, who, after two terms at the helm of the STA, is considered by many to be passé.
It is also worth remembering how Veselinovič was even appointed director. The STA Act was drafted in 2011 by the then Minister of Culture from the Zares party, Majda Širca. After his confirmation in the National Assembly, Veselinovič was appointed director of STA, and he unofficially belongs to the personnel pool of the former Zares party. There are even supposed to be photos of Veselinović attending the Zares party congress.
So the next time the left presents you with stories about major political interventions in the media under the government of Janez Janša, remember this article.