By: Sara Bertoncelj
“This case also showed that in fact most of the media is politically activist. It is inadmissible, with such an important person at the moment, e.g., with someone who would like to become Prime Minister, to ignore the fact that another great expert – who could otherwise be described as working with the government – has completely torn him apart on a professional level with regard to his measures. This would undermine the few months of boasting the KUL coalition, mainstream media would despise themselves,” commented the expert in the field of strategic communication, mag. Sebastjan Jeretič, regarding on the decision of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and some other media not to report on the argumentative critique of Jože P. Damijan’s programme.
We have already reported that a few days ago economist dr. Igor Masten in several points criticised part of the programme of Jože P. Damijan or the KUL coalition. He was especially disturbed by the part that talks about the liquidity scheme, namely, he wrote the following: “The part of the programme about the liquidity scheme has 117 words. So far, I have been convinced that it is physically impossible to write nonsense with such density. What else is in the remaining 32 thousand words?!” The media especially likes to report about the KUL’s candidate for Prime Minister even if he only talks about ventilation of the premises. However, they are a bit less fond on reporting those who clearly show that Damijan does not know what he is talking about, in general or in his field. There is no indication that STA would perform its function of a public service in this position, which constantly, comprehensively, accurately, and objectively ensure information on events in the Republic of Slovenia.
Regarding the liquidity scheme of the KUL programme, Masten among other things pointed out: “First of all, the proposal is inconsistent with the European Commission’s temporary framework on state aid in the COVID crisis. Both in terms of maturity and interest rates. Online applications? Digital sounds really cool. However, in practice, this means that 14 banks would have to run 14 applications. Highs costs for only a few contractors in the market. Banks can hardly wait! The vaccine will be in kiosks sooner than they would make digital cool. Implementation is transferred to the banks. From the banks that are already implementing the scheme, should be transferred to the banks?! SID would assume liabilities to banks??? Only borrowers have liabilities to banks. Does this mean SID would take on the obligation of repaying the loans?!”
The fact that STA did not report on this was also noticed by the director of Ukom, Uroš Urbanija, who wrote: The financing of the public service of STA, but not for the criticism of the programme by Masten. With such moves, made by STA, many people rightly think that they are not acting objectively and professionally, as would be otherwise expected. In connection with this, the director of Ukom, Uroš Urbanija, also reacted critically, writing the following: “I am looking for news on the STA service on what the eminent economist Igor Masten claims about the KUL programme of Jože P. Damijan. Unfortunately, nothing. Perhaps they autonomously judged that this should not be reported. The experience on how director Veselinovič once fired the editor-in-chief Meško is still alive.”
The media praised Damijan to the skies for no reason, and with the reporting on criticism, he could completely lose his professional reputation
“The media did not cover this because their candidate for Prime Minister was simply professionally torn apart in his general professional field, i.e., in his own territory,” explained Sebastjan Jeretič. The expert in the field of strategic communication also mentioned that Masten’s critique was not a question of health measures, so that Damijan could have an excuse that someone else had advised him, but it was a question of financial and economic policy.
“Masten said that what Damijan was proposing is in complete contradiction with European state aid rules, that is, with the basic alphabet that Damijan should have known before he could talk about anything in this area. And because the candidate that was praised to the skies for no reason by the media for a few months now, would completely lose his professional reputation, it is quite clear why they chose to ignore this,” added and warned Jeretič, that from this point of view, it is not strange that this case also showed that in fact most of the media is politically activist.
It is inadmissible, with such an important person at the moment, e.g., with someone who would like to become Prime Minister, to ignore the fact that another great expert – who could otherwise be described as working with the government – completely torn him apart on a professional level with regard to his measures. This would undermine these few months of boasting the KUL coalition, mainstream media would despise themselves,” Jeretič concluded his report.
If the agency does not report on something, is it like it did not happen?
One of the founders of STA, Franc Perčič, recently said that STA has become a credible, reliable, and generally accepted medium. Additionally, he told for Večer that he believes in the objectivity of the agency and pointed out the importance of its function: “If the agency does not report on something, it is like it did not happen.” Well, if they purposely do not report on certain things, it is difficult to talk about objectivity and credibility. However, it is possible to understand the purpose and logic of such non-reporting from Perčič’s statement. The denial of Damijan’s allegations simply did not happen because it was not reported.
Jelko Kacin, also one of the founders of STA, assessed the recent events regarding STA and Ukom that it is otherwise inappropriate for any of the STA employees, who are really working in difficult conditions at this time, wonder if they will get a salary or not. However, he also emphasised that with such a large share of co-financing, STA with budgetary money is on the side of the budgetary partner. It is certainly in place that the spending of this part of the money is monitored and questioned.
It is also appropriate for us, as news recipients, to ask ourselves why the priority discussion of some media clearly leans in only one direction, and why certain important things are not reported at all – even though we pay for this reporting.