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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Another fake news from the mainstream media: The government has not stopped funding the STA! Director Veselinovič concealed the data!

by Sara Bertoncelj (Nova24TV)

»Despite our requests and repeated warnings from October onwards that this documentation was urgently needed, the director did not want to hand it over. We have also repeatedly warned the director that his concealment of information could lead to a serious financial problem for the STA and that he would bear full responsibility for it.

What’s more, we received his letter and the letter from the chairman of the supervisory board to tell them how much money we are going to give them and how much money is in the budget respectively. This, however, is in complete conflict to the legal requirement to provide adequate funding. It is unacceptable that the director of STA and the chairman of the supervisory board of STA demand illegal conduct from Ukom,« explained the director of the Government Communication Office (Ukom), Uroš Urbanija.

The news appeared in the media today that the government of Janez Janša was supposed to »quietly« stop financing the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), which of course was described as a new attack by the government on the public media. This was reported by the credible and neutral MMC portal of our public media house, but the information turned out to be untrue. Director of the Government Communication Office (Ukom) Uroš Urbanija explained that they had informed the government about the inability to finance or conclude a new contract with STA; why this happened was also evident from the entire attached material. According to Urbanija, the legal diction, ie the STA law, is very clear, saying that STA must be provided with adequate funding. Therefore, already in October, Ukom asked STA director Bojan Veselinović to provide all business documentation, on the basis of which it would be possible to determine how much money would be suitable for adequate financing.

Veselinović initially left things to the STA supervisory board, which clearly adopted a decision to turn back to the STA director for all Ukom documents. »Despite our requests and repeated warnings from October onwards that this documentation was urgently needed, the director did not want to hand it over. We have also repeatedly warned the director that his concealment of information could lead to a serious financial problem for the STA and that he would bear full responsibility for it. What’s more, we received his letter and the letter from the chairman of the supervisory board to tell them how much money we are going to give them and how much money is in the budget respectively. This, however, is in complete conflict to the legal requirement to provide adequate funding.«

It is unacceptable that the director of STA and the chairman of the supervisory board of STA demand illegal conduct from Ukom, Urbanija explained, adding: »I would also like to point out that the reports requested by the director show that previous governments did not follow the legal diction, as the director always claims that he receives 5,000 euros a month too little to carry out public service. The question is whether what the director claims is true, because he does not provide Ukom with an insight into the entire business of the company. In any case, this is not the way to deal with public finances. It would be illegal on the part of Ukom to pay for something that does not even have all the records that what is being paid has been done at all.«

Rapper Zlatan Čordić has little to do with this whole story, as some mainstream media claim. However, there is another problem that needs to be pointed out here as well. Namely, the law requires the STA to perform public service and report on individual events. And here the thing is quite stretchy, Urbanija pointed out – what does it actually mean to perform a public service? »As a result, what is supposed to mean adequate funding is also stretchy. Therefore, there should be very strong arguments here and that things are done in a certain order. If STA covers, for example, all pop musicians, this is part of the established practice. But it is something else if they want to stretch this notion of public service in order to obtain even more money from public funds, that is, from the budget. If events are covered, if it is done in the public interest, you must of course be paid appropriately for it. However, in the mentioned case, the same criteria must apply to Zlatko as well as to any other singer of the same genre,« the director of Ukom pointed out.

Is public money flowing into private companies through STA advertising?

The question also arises as to what STA is doing with advertising in some media. According to Ukom, this is an extremely controversial matter, moreover, Ukom’s opinion is that this is indirect financing of commercial companies. »Which means that public money flows into private companies through advertising,« Urbanija warned. It would be different, of course, if there were certain effects from this advertising, but it is questionable how many new subscribers STA gets if it publishes a full-page ad in selected media. Namely, STA is not intended for individuals, but for media companies or subscribers, who are usually not individual. Therefore, there is no real logic in advertising in these media. But if that’s the case, STA should treat all media equally, that is, advertise in all media in the same way. So this is also a very controversial issue that needs to be highlighted,« concluded Uroš Urbanija.

 

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