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Friday, September 29, 2023

Former journalist Miro Petek: MEPs only focus on certain stories, they are not interested in the truth

By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv.si

“They came today and will stay until Friday. Of course, this is about LIBE, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. This is a committee that painted a black image of Slovenia in the field of media months ago, and now the representatives of this committee have come to Slovenia, where they will talk to various stakeholders from the media, politics, non-governmental organisations,” former journalist Miro Petek, who suffered brutal physical attack decades ago, was critical in the show Komentar of our media house, but the representatives of the said committee did not invite him for an interview.

“We would be naïve to think that this mission of theirs will change their opinion or preconceived conclusions. No matter what they will hear and find out, they will write in the report what they intended to write before they boarded the plane today,” former journalist Miro Petek was clear in the show Komentar. He is also convinced that we cannot expect a fair assessment. And, of course, we are naïve if we think that European politics works any differently than politics in domestic logs. And that the European and world media are somewhat different from our dominant media. “The left ideological paradigm, which is genetically intertwined with lies, is woven into the European political and media milieu.”

“In my journalistic career, I have not dealt with so many foreign media than this year, when I was at the Ministry of Culture. Reputable foreign media, about which I had a false belief that they were professional media institutions, built their reports on Slovenia on lies, they did not want to publish corrections.” The New York Times, ZDF, Spiegel, The Guardian, Politico, The Economist and many others shamelessly recycled the lies of Slovenian MSM, and in the end ignored all our information and the protests. Of course, it is absurd that the world media NYT or Spiegel or the Economist is dealing, for example, with the demolition or eviction of Rog or Metelkova, and with false information. So false.

It is even more worrying if and when the world media present the practice of lies demonstrated in the case of Slovenia in other important planetary topics: whether we can trust them when reporting on Afghanistan, Iran, nuclear weapons, climate change and similar topics or is this also just one big lie. MEPs come to Slovenia on the assumption that there is no freedom of the media and speech, that journalists are persecuted and attacked. “In the last 20 years, the only and really attacked journalist is here in front of you, but of course this mission of the European Parliament did not invite him for a conversation. Namely, he could reveal the power of transitional politics and capital, the brutal connection of politics with the economic and criminal underworld.”

Concentration in the media market is extremely dangerous, and politicians are still not well aware of it

And all this privatisation arc in the Slovenian media field, which led to the deformation of the media space and to the concentration as we know it from the literature and where we first remember Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi and of course their influence on politics and direct policy making. This week I was sitting in the parliament, where there was a discussion about concentration in the Slovenian media space. The opposition obstructed the session. Left wing politics refuses to discuss this because it would collide with its media patrons. And here Bojan Požar correctly informed them: what would happen if the left-leaning Odlazek’s media empire was bought by a new media owner, who would be strongly inclined to the right, which means that the media landscape would change overnight.

Self-governing journalism from the time of Mitja Gorjup is no more, the media content is no longer decided by the party, but by the owner. And it depends on him and, of course, his political preferences and connections, what the editorial policy will be. That is why concentration in the media market is so very dangerous and politics is still not aware of it well enough. The media are not the “core business” of Petrič’s business empire, but with their help he can direct and regulate other businesses well from which his octopus lives. “Večer and Primorske novice have already landed in Odlazek’s port, and Dnevnik will probably follow them soon, the concentration here continues with various detours, for which the Ministry of Culture has no leverage with its legislation.”

MEPs will focus only on certain stories, while they are not really interested in the truth

However, many things could be arranged by the Agency for Competition Protection (AVK), which was invited to Tuesday’s meeting, but of course they ignored that. AVK, if it has the will, can do a lot: in 2009 it started the process when Delo had to sell Večer. Of course, MEPs will hear from various sources how the government is putting pressure on STA and RTV Slovenia. They will certainly not be overly interested in the facts and the report will be written in the spirit of the Sophists. But let’s look at RTV Slovenia, where MEPs should also hear the facts and comparisons: -RTV Slovenia today has around 2,200 employees, of which 994 do not meet the educational requirements.

According to the latest data, 615 of these 2,200 employees are employed in journalistic positions, of which 132 do not have the appropriate education to hold a journalistic position. “Interjection: we can only be judged by law graduates with a bar exam, we can only be operated by doctors with specialisation, however, the media, news and thus public opinion in the public institution RTV Slovenia are created by people without proper education – the state provides RTV Slovenia with financial autonomy by law, RTV has an annual budget (contribution plus other revenues) of 120 million euros.”

Where else in the world do they have the same number of soldiers as there are employees on the public radio and television house RTVS?

-And a comparison: this year, the Ministry of Culture has the largest budget in the history of independent Slovenia, for all national professional and amateur culture, for investments, for salaries in cultural institutions, for salaries of the self-employed, for financing the Public Book Agency, the Public Fund for cultural activities and the like there is 238 million euros available. -And for the end another comparison: Slovenia is part of NATO, has its own army and in the end of 2020, the institution Slovenian Army had 2275 uniformed soldiers (I mean only ordinary soldiers, officers and non-commissioned officers are not included), and according to the reports of the Supervisory Board of RTV Slovenia, RTV Slovenia had employed 2272 people by the end of 2019. Where else in the world do they have the same number of soldiers as there are employees on a public radio and television house?


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