By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
Brussels calls on the EU member states to better protect their journalists, the Slovenian Press Agency reports, while Vera Jourova, the vice-chairwoman of the Commission for Values and Transparency, highlighted the case of Slovenian journalist Blaž Zgaga and pointed out that violence by the political leaders was particularly unacceptable. She highlighted Zgaga, even though nothing is known about anything bad happening to him recently. Of course, everyone is keeping quiet about Wednesday’s spitting at and insulting of our cameraman, who was simply doing his job at the protests. If the media that do not belong to the transitional left are being attacked, the mainstream media clearly does not consider that to be an attack on the freedom of journalism.
“What needs to be specifically pointed out is that the freedom of the media is not endangered in our country,” said Jože Biščak, editor-in-chief of the Demookracija magazine and President of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists. He explained that this is the claim that is being spread abroad and at home by the journalists and editors of the media mainstream, the left-wing opposition and the left-wing fascists with a single purpose – to sully the reputation of the current centre-right government. “And in doing so, they are lying heavily, as I find it hard to imagine that they understand what the meaning of media freedom is,” he said.
Biščak went on to say that media freedom means that everyone can publish the media and freely disseminate their views and ideas. This is also guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia and is how it should be. In Slovenia, the current government has not banned or prevented the publishing or operating of any media outlets; however, the previous government, led by Marjan Šarec, issued a “recommendation” for the state-owned companies to not advertise in “certain media outlets,” and thus tries to precent the publication of media outlets that were critical of it or unfriendly. “And if there was ever a time when we could talk about the threat to media freedom, the only time to do so is in the case of Marjan Šarec,” Biščak pointed out. However, if someone criticises the reporting of the media and journalists, including those they refer to, that is something completely normal, an expression of plurality, openness, and the free public. The President of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists emphasised that this in no way endangers the freedom of the media.
The hypocrisy of the media mainstream
“Criticism of hegemonic media outlets by either the government officials or social media users is immediately labelled an attack on journalists or media freedom. These people are so loud in their accusations that their voices can be heard at the edge of space. The same happens if one of the protest lunatics attacks, insults or spits on an MP or government official. They consider that to be freedom of expression. However, when journalists and editors of conservative media are (sometimes even physically) attacked, they keep quiet about it, and no condemnations of these acts can be heard. And what is more – some media outlets even say that what happened is right because it is okay to insult and attack the “Nazi” and “racist” media outlets, and it is acceptable if the journalists of these media outlets are being beaten. However, it is naïve to expect anyone to inform Vera Jourova about this, despite the fact that they keep in touch with her on a daily basis for practically everything else. If they did tell her about what is going on, their evil agenda and harmful zeal would fall and be over within an instant,” Biščak pointed out.
Imagine if what happened to the Nova24TV cameraman on Wednesday – a protest extremist span on him and insulted him – happened at a right-wing rally to a mainstream media cameraman. We would not even be able to sleep, as we would spend the night listening about the fascists, neo-Nazis, and racists who attacked the media freedom and freedom of expression. “What I want to say is that I have no words to express the disgust I feel due to the hypocrisy of the media mainstream,” Biščak concluded.
The attack on the Nova24TV cameraman should be condemned in unison
An RTV journalist from the Association of Journalists and Publicists Igor Pirkovič said that media freedom either persists or falls in concrete cases, with the question of whether those who are not “ours” are able to defend those who are “ours,” and vice versa. The attack of Ladislav Troha and his followers was condemned by all. The fact that it was an attack that happened at the national television did not even matter. No matter who it happened to, it would require condemnation. “Yesterday, however, one of the protesters spat into the camera of a Nova24TV cameraman, which would require a united conviction by the entire media sphere, as a show of media solidarity. Unfortunately, the criteria change quite quickly,” Pirkovič pointed out, allowing for one exception: “Unless anyone believes that an attack on Nova24TV is not an attack on the media.”
And besides, as long as the President of the Court of Auditors can publicly label part of the media a factory of evil and everyone is simply “okay with that,” it is clear that the slogans about media freedoms, used by various associations, organisations, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and similar professionals, are nothing more than cliches. Similarly, the October visit of Sophie in ‘t Veld and the European Parliament’s delegations will probably also be nothing but empty promises. “This week, I spoke to the Dutch MEP and found out that they have more or less already agreed on what they will write in the report. That is, it does not matter if you spit on the cameraman, rip out the camera from his hands, intentionally injure him, or threaten him with death simply because you do not like his show Pričevalci (Witnesses). Nope, is really important is that Blaž Zgaga is allegedly afraid to step out on the street,” he added, explaining how things really work in our country.