By: Sara Bertoncelj /Nova24tv.si
At the beginning of March this year, Parsifal asked a question in a public opinion poll: “The Nova24tv cameraman was prevented from entering the SD party press conference. Which opinion about this event is closest to you personally?” At the end of February 2021, the incident took place, which was strongly condemned by the Slovene Association of Journalists as well as the Association of Journalists and Publicists. 58.8 percent of respondents thought that SD violated media freedom.
At the end of February, the SD party, which has a lot to say about media freedom, crossed the line of what is acceptable in the Slovenian media space. At a publicly announced event – Tanja Fajon’s press conference – a Nova24TV cameraman was physically denied access. From the mouths of SD public relations representatives, even frightening words that Nova24TV was not wanted at their press conferences could be heard. The team of the spokesperson of the SD party, Denis Sarkić, subsequently wrote to us: “Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, the SD party has long ago decided not to cooperate with your media due to known abuses, lies, and forgeries by your media. Unfortunately, you continue to deliberately generate lies and hatred. As long as that is the case, you are not welcome at our events. The information about the security guard is not true either, as we do not have one and he was also not present at the location.”
Given that Nova24TV is officially recorded in the media register and has the same rights to participate in press events as other media, the whole thing is all the more inadmissible. Later, Fajon also responded with her apology, saying that there was a misunderstanding. “There was no instruction to ban the cameraman from my side. All journalists and media are welcome at our press events,” she said. However, apparently, she did not communicate this to her spokesperson, who claims the opposite – that our media is not welcome.
A few days later, it became known that the municipality of Kanal ob Soči was disturbed by a journalist from RTV SLO reporting on the co-incineration in Salonit Anhovo, and the issue of drinking water supply. Therefore, they adopted a decision proposing to the editorial board of the informational programme of Televizija Slovenija to assess the objectivity of the correspondent’s reporting. Mayor Tina Gerbec, from the SD party, and the director of the municipal administration, Nejc Kumar, called the RTV journalist for an interview, however, the mayor prohibited the filming, so the team left the municipal premises in protest. At the same time, Fajon came to the conclusion that it is best to communicate with the public and journalists regularly, calmly, and transparently. Well, while the SD party is increasingly openly hostile to journalists, this same party is spreading slander about the “urbanisation” of Slovenia at home and abroad, while trying, in the spirit of the successor to the Communist Party, to stifle the last critical voices in our left focused media space. On the very day when the SD “banned” the Nova24TV cameraman from entering the conference, we reported in the media that Prime Minister Janez Janša had proposed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to verify the facts about what was happening in the media and the country. With this, Janša responded to misconceptions about the alleged government interference in the freedom of the Slovenian media, which are increasingly going on pilgrimages to foreign addresses by the left wing opposition.
The asked question was: “The Nova24tv cameraman was prevented from entering the SD press conference. Which opinion about this event is closest to you personally?” There were answers that SD had every right to do so, that SD violated media freedom, “I don’t know”, and “other”.
58.8 percent of the respondents though that the SD party violated media freedom when they prevented the Nova24TV cameraman from entering their conference. 18.7 percent of respondents thought that the SD party had every right to do so. 20.7 percent said they did not know, and 1.7 percent opted for another.
Among those who felt that SD violated media freedom, there were slightly more men (59.4 percent) than women (58.2 percent). This was the opinion of most of those aged between 18 and 34, followed by those aged between 35 and 54. This opinion was mostly shared by individuals with secondary education (63.2 percent), closely followed by those with college, university or higher education (61.2 percent), and respondents with a vocational education (60.9 percent).
The survey (telephone survey – mobile networks) covered 717 respondents between March 1st and 4th, of which 50.2 percent were women. The average age is 51.0 years; the standard deviation is 15.5 years. Most respondents are from the oldest age group (41.9 percent), the middle age group is slightly less represented (39.2 percent), and the least represented is the youngest age group (19 percent). Most respondents have completed high school (34.9 percent), followed by those with a college or university degree (28.1 percent), 24.3 percent of respondents have a vocational school, and 12.7 percent of respondents have completed primary or have an incomplete primary school. Most respondents come from a village or hamlet (50.2 percent), followed by a town (32 percent), and a smaller city (17.9 percent). Most respondents come from the Osrednjeslovenska region (25.8 percent), followed by the Podravska (15.1 percent) and Savinjska (12.2 percent) regions. The survey was conducted between March 1st and 4th, 2021.