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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Igor E. Bergant violates the journalistic code and serves with state institutions

By: Sara Kovač /Nova24tv

“Host of Odmevi show Bergant, like all journalists regularly employed by RTV Slovenia, belongs to the public sector, is paid from public money, and moderates commercial events of entities and people, including budget users, which – in other circumstances – often appeared as part of the journalistic processing of the show Odmevi,” warned journalist Bojan Požar, adding that his interlocutors from RTV, who wish to remain anonymous, warn that this is no longer just an obvious violation of the journalistic code of the Slovenian Journalists’ Association, of which Igor E. Bergant is a member, but also a danger of corruption. Why does the RTV Supervisory Board not report his actions to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption?

Already in November last year, we reported that journalist Igor E. Bergant, who is regularly employed at the public broadcaster RTV, also earns his extra money through the status of an independent entrepreneur. On top of all that, he is obviously evidently violating the Code of the Slovenian Journalists’ Association, we wrote, and summed up Požareport’s words: “And Bergant’s private businesses, in addition, have little in common with journalism. Because Igor E. Bergant, who as a full-time employee of the public broadcaster is part of the public sector with all the privileges, a large part of his additional income – so far almost 40 thousand euros, which is about as much as Bergant earns with a salary of RTV journalist in a year – earns at the expense of state institutions or state-owned enterprises.” As these companies and institutions are also reported in Odmevi show, this of course means that there is a direct conflict of interest in the implementation of the journalistic profession.

Journalist Bojan Požar described Bergant as an amphibian journalist, as he also works in the private sector. He explained that a journalist conducts events that have nothing to do with journalism, which is an obvious violation of the Slovenian Journalists’ Code or, more specifically, a violation of Article 26 of the Code, which dictates that journalists avoid work outside the journalistic profession in order not to diminish their credibility or the credibility of the journalistic community. One of the examples of such activities is the management of commercial events of domestic or foreign private insurance companies – years ago Bergant acted as a moderator at the event Merkur Zavarovalnica Ltd. And today, Požar wrote in an article that Bergant is stepping up work beyond the public RTVS, which he also sees as a threat of corruption.

Why does the RTV Supervisory Board not report his actions to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption?

According to publicly available data, Bergant moderated the conference of the Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia yesterday and today, reported Požareport. This is all the more controversial given the fact that he is doing this before the announced strike by RTV, where he is a member of the strike committee. The journalist moderated the Day of the Slovenian-German Economy in Bled on May 15th, and soon he will moderate the Days of Insurance in Slovenia. If the management of RTV cannot ban the host of Odmevi show from working in the afternoon, the question still arises as to why the RTV supervisory board does not report his actions to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. As we have already reported, the main message of the strike is the demand for the resignation of the director general of RTVS Andrej Grah Whatmough, the editor-in-chief of the news programme of Television Slovenia Jadranka Rebernik and acting editor of the editorial board for new media Igor Pirkovič and the resignation of the president of the RTVS programme council Peter Gregorčič – that is, all those who found themselves in a certain position, even though they are not “theirs”. “The priority is not the economy, not the social, not the health, but RTV, even though they control 95% of it. Such hysteria after complete mastery of the medium has not yet occurred. And so many lies that justify doing so,” Pirkovič commented on the events after the elections.

After talks with the strike committee, the director general of RTVS assured that the public’s right to be informed during the strike would not be curtailed. According to him, the management of the institute is aware of the strike demands. He reiterated that many strike demands in connection with the realisation of economic and social rights of workers and interests from work are already being implemented. According to him, negotiations for the conclusion of an agreement on resolving strike demands will take place next week, RTVS reported. According to Grah Whatmough, the leadership is constantly striving for social dialogue with all three unions and other social partners within the public institution. At the same time, he invites all social partners to continue talks, which he sees as the only way to improve working conditions and the working environment.


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