By: Ivan Šokić / Nova24tv
The Labour and Social Court in Ljubljana refused to issue a temporary order on the implementation of the Amendments to the Implementing Act on the Operation of the MMC. The court did not find that the changes were inconsistent with the law or the statute. Igor Pirkovič, the new acting editor of the editorial board for new media at RTV Slovenia, spoke on the show Tema dneva on Nova24TV about the pressures and attacks of employees on public television.
In the procedure for issuing an interim injunction, the Labour and Social Court in Ljubljana found that the amendments to the implementing act on the operation of the MMC, which entered into force on January 31st, 2022, were not inconsistent with the RTV Slovenia Act or the RTV SLO Statute. This confirmed the general management of RTV Slovenia, which explained that the change in the part relating to the appointment of the editor of the editorial board for new media MMC only harmonised the implementing act with the statute.
Ever since the appointment of Igor Pirkovič to the position of acting editor of the new media editorial board at RTV Slovenia, activists employed at RTV Slovenia have been protesting, but, as Ukom has already pointed out, they go so far as to disregard even the most basic journalistic standards. Pirkovič spoke about all this in the show Tema dneva on March 22nd, 2022.
Active protests against editorial and programme changes in the run-up to the elections are taking place on RTV Slovenia. What was normal four years ago is now unheard of, they insist. In addition to Pirkovič’s appointment, they are also disturbed by the abolition of Tarča and Studio City. The latter is a show with a distinctly left-wing tilt, which was confirmed by the host Marcel Štefančič Jr. with the conclusion in the last show. Both in the airtime of Tarča and Studio City, electoral confrontations were organised four years ago, but there was no excitement at that time.
“At a time when we are condemning the autocrat who invaded Ukraine, the autocracy that attacked the national TV must be condemned as strongly as possible,” said Bentil Štefančič Jr. while singing “Bella ciao” by the women’s choir Kombinat. “See you on Monday, May 9th, Victory Day,” Štefančič concluded. There are claims in the public that the right-wing government is abolishing Tarča and Studio City, while Štefančič himself claims that the show will take place on May 9th, and that both Tarča and Studio City also took a break during the previous elections, when pre-election confrontations took place in their airtime.
Instead of protesting against Putin, they are protesting against Pirkovič
The left wing on RTV Slovenia accuses Pirkovič of being an incompetent political figure associated with the SDS party. “I look at it as someone who, in distress, simply has every reason to draw attention to himself,” said Pirkovič, who, in his own words, faced the attacks stoically and upright. New acting editor of the editorial board for new media on RTV Slovenia pointed out that recently, when they protested under his window, he even nurtured hopes that something was moving to the national level and a group of journalists gathered to condemn Putin’s attack on Ukraine, but he was disappointed when he realised that they were protesting against him.
Pirkovič said that he accepted any criticism, but above all he did not want to take it personally, as it was an expression of democracy. He is convinced that the protest in front of RTV Slovenia against him is not a true indicator of the situation. More problematic than the protests against Pirkovič are the way in which these protests are covered by RTV Slovenia. As Ukom recently pointed out in its weekly analysis of RTV Slovenia’s reporting, Pirkovič was not asked for a statement, which, according to Ukom, indicates “obvious abuse of the public media to promote the personal interests of those who should otherwise be in the public service. It is unacceptable to be an active participant in an event in the morning and report back in the afternoon. In such cases, we should lease advertising space and publish the statement as an advertisement.”
New acting editor of the editorial board for new media on RTV Slovenia said that he was used to the pressure. Years ago, people from all over politics and within RTV Slovenia hit him because of an interview with Croatian singer Marko Perković Thomson, whom leftists wrongly accused of fascism. Pirkovič allowed Perković to respond to such accusations. Despite the pogrom against Pirkovič, the article is still available on RTV Slovenia, which Pirkovič understands as proof that he did his job correctly. There were also no complaints about the “disputed contribution” for correction.
Proof of editorial freedom
Pirkovič also hosted popular shows in the past, which were simply cancelled overnight for no reason. He did not protest, but continued to work, convinced that those responsible had good reasons for their actions. He emphasised that he had previously been the host of programmes on the 3rd channel of TV Slovenia and not the first, where there are electoral confrontations, and this should be a good indicator of how much protection and power he (does not) really have. However, he is flattered by all the attention paid to him by Mladina with three articles a day. He said he was still reading at first and found it interesting, but then he just runs out of time.
The fact that an article was published on the MMC web portal after Pirkovič’s appointment as acting editor of editorial board about how much the cadre on the portal opposes this, Pirkovič sees as proof of how broad the notion of editorial freedom is under his leadership and how much he is involved in the work of journalists on the portal. The only thing that bothered Pirkovič was that they did not ask him for a statement, given that they had published an article directed against him. This seems to him to be the basis of journalistic standards.