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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

“Depoliticisation” of the National Media Outlet RTV: Another in a Series of “Independent” Journalists Was Elected as a Member of the Programme Council

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

Before the elections, the current government coalition promised the depoliticisation of the national media outlet, RTV Slovenia – which they apparently want to achieve with the bill on amendments and additions to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which will supposedly be discussed under the urgency procedure. By doing this, they can take full control of RTV as soon as possible, which is something they were used to for a long time. At a recent session of the mandate-election commission of the National Assembly, one more in a series of “independent” journalists was elected as a member of the RTV Slovenia Programme Council, namely, Alenka Sivka, who interviewed Robert Golob for one of Odlazek’s media outlets a while ago, and then also ran on his list as a candidate for the position of MP. Meanwhile, Domen Savič was not elected to a position in the Programme Council, even though he was proposed for it – and thus, he remains an extreme left-wing activist who, with his political campaigning, repels advertisers from critical media who do not have the same belief system as he does.

Recently, the mandate-election commission of the National Assembly supported Alenka Sivka and Branimir Pian as members of the Programme Council of the national media outlet, RTV Slovenia. Namely, Nastia Flegar and Mitja Čander recently tendered their resignation from their posts as members of the Programme Council of RTV Slovenia. Ten members of the aforementioned commission voted in favour of Pian and Sivka. At the same meeting, Damjan Bizjak was supported as a member of the Board of Directors of the fund for financing the decommissioning of the Nuclear Power Plant.

“The case of Domen Savič also shows us just how politically controlled the appointment of ‘non-political’ members of the RTV Slovenia Programme Council really is: although he was nominated twice this time, on the basis of an agreement with the coalition of the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda), the Left party (Levica), and the Social Democrats (Socialni Demokrati), at yesterday’s meeting of the mandate-election commission of the National Assembly, he did not get a single vote – because ‘Citizen D’ had already played the role of a useful idiot for the needs of this coalition. Yes, we are back to the old rule: discard after use,” journalist Bojan Požar commented on the decision.

Požar then also mentioned Alenka Sivka as another example of the false depoliticisation of the national RTV Slovenia. Sivka is a “non-political” journalist from one of Odlazek’s media outlets, and in November 2021, she conducted an interview with Robert Golob, in which she blatantly lied, claiming that Golob was being dismissed, and then called him a visionary. In April 2022, this same journalist ran for the position of Member of Parliament for the Freedom Movement party – Požar even mentions the possibility that the candidacy was agreed upon during the interview in question – but she was not elected to the post. However, Golob’s party recently nominated and, with the help of the Left party and the Social Democrats, also elected her to the post of a “non-political” member of the RTV Slovenia Programme Council.

On Friday, Dr Peter Gregorčič, President of the RTV Slovenia Programme Council, wrote that the government’s proposal for the amendments to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act deprives the National Assembly of its constitutional role. Namely, the government submitted a proposal to the legislative procedure on amendments and additions to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act (ZVRTS-1E, EPA 153 – IX) – and did it under the urgent procedure, provided for by Article 143 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly, to protect the interests of the security or defence of the country, elimination of the consequences of natural disasters, or to prevent difficult-to-repair consequences for the functioning of the state.

“Therefore, this is evident abuse of the rules of procedure and the instrumentalisation of the legislative process, done to achieve the political goals of the ruling coalition, which, together with some trade unions, has been planning a political takeover of the public institution RTV Slovenia for a long time now. Let’s remember the words of Helena Milinković, the president of the Coordination of the Journalists’ Unions of RTV Slovenia, which she said as a commitment to the former Director-General of RTV Slovenia, Igor Kadunc, at the public tribune on the situation at RTV Slovenia. She told him: ‘We act as a guerrilla movement. /…/ Our plan, Mr Director, is exactly that – the takeover of RTV.’ The commitment to the (guerrilla) takeover was made by the trade unionist Milinković to the former Director-General of RTV Slovenia, who was not able to prepare an adequate financial plan and, due to his managerial incompetence, put this public institution in a position where it had to finance itself in twelfths,” Gregoričič warned, among other things, and added that this kind of instrumentalisation of parliamentary procedures to achieve political goals lowers the level of democracy and represents a tragic step towards the abolition of parliamentary democracy. With their actions, the government of Robert Golob and the coalition that supports this government are doing exactly what they so often criticised the former Janez Janša government for during the election campaign.

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