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Monday, December 5, 2022

At RTV Slovenia, another abuse of the public media for the partial interests of some employees

By: L. K. F., RTVS

Daily news broadcasts are intended to inform the public about key external and internal political events of the day. But the message that a group of employees allowed themselves last night at the end of the central news show on SLO 1 is inappropriate and is an abuse of the public media for partial interests, the management of the public RTV Slovenia announced today. Therefore, the management apologised to the viewers.

“We sincerely apologise to the valued viewers who watched the news broadcasts on the first programme of Television Slovenia yesterday,” the management of the public institution RTV Slovenia announced today to the public. The apology refers to last night’s action of some employees of RTVS, who arbitrarily approached the host Saša Krajnc “in support” at the end of the news show.

Together with fellow editor Vesna Pfeiffer, they, self-willed, used the time and space in the news show in the past few days to express their disagreement (in all probability the disagreement of all colleagues who actively defend themselves against the introduction of changes by the new management, which left journalistic and editorial community on RTVS does not like) with the decision of the new director of TV Slovenija, Uroš Urbanija, to terminate cooperation with the magazine Mladina. Its editor-in-chief, Grega Repovž, slandered the events at RTVS in the Mladina editorial. Kranjc went so far as to arbitrarily add in one of the news programmes that the article about this was published on the express instructions of the responsible editor of the news programme, Jadranka Rebernik. Which was not true. Of course, Urbanija responded to this in accordance with his authorisation, expecting Rebernik to assign different tasks to Krajnc and Pfeiffer “that they can perform professionally”. The collective, or that part of it, which is constantly in a kind of war and white strike against the new management, etc., considers that it is an unfounded accusation against colleagues Krajnc and Pfeiffer and an inadmissible interference in the work of the editorial team.

But the management of RTVS thinks differently, but above all realistically. “Daily news broadcasts are intended to inform the public about key foreign and domestic political events of the day. The message, in which a few employees arbitrarily expressed unfounded accusations against the management of TV Slovenija and called on the responsible editor of the Informative programme Jadranka Rebernik to take action, when she was not even informed about the text, is inappropriate and is an abuse of the public media for partial interests. The content of the message does not represent the journalistic genre and does not comply with journalistic standards. In the management of RTV Slovenia, we will strive to ensure that the dissatisfaction of some employees does not burden our viewers, listeners and readers, payers of the RTV contribution, but rather that the problems of individuals are solved within the public institution. We apologise once again to the viewers for the inappropriate text,” emphasised the director general of RTV Slovenia, Andrej Grah Whatmough.

But while the active journalists of the news programme TVS and MMC support the editor and host of the central news programmes Vesna Pfeiffer and Saša Krajnc, the director of TV Slovenija Uroš Urbanija is quite clear. “If someone thinks that RTV Slovenia is their private television and can do whatever they want, they are very wrong. We are committed to the public. Censorship is over, and so are private propaganda messages (if they are not paid for). The same standards must apply to RTV as to @BBCNews #stopputinisation,” Urbanija tweeted today.

Was Krajnc’s action possibly influenced by an acquaintance from the top of the Ministry of Culture?

On the other hand, the portal Siol reported today that it is heard from public television that the personal connection of the journalist with the new leadership of the Ministry of Culture could also be hidden from the public behind the actions of the presenter Saša Krajnc. Last month, the government appointed, with September 1st, Toni Tovornik for acting Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture, which is headed by Asta Vrečko (Levica). He is a former employee of RTVS, who, according to unofficial information from RTVS, is a friend of the host Krajnc. If the information is true, this partnership could affect judgment. The journalistic code stipulates that in the event of a conflict of interest, a media worker must disclose it or exclude himself from reporting, Siol also wrote.

Due to unofficial information, Siol asked both the Ministry of Culture and RTVS to clarify whether Tovornik and Krajnc are just friends or partners. “Unofficially, we learned from the television that they are having some problems preparing the answer because they have to protect personal data. They answered us as follows: ‘You are inquiring about sensitive personal data, for which there is no legal basis in the law for processing in the public sector’. But so far, neither the government nor RTVS have denied the connections,” they wrote on Siol.

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