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RTV journalist Jože Možina: RTVS should have operated in the epidemic as in 1990/91, when it united the nation against a common enemy

Jože Možina (Nova24tv / printscreen)

By: Nina Žoher / Nova24tv

“A large part of the employees on the RTVS news programme did not agree with the announced changes. They have every right to do so, but here there is no responsibility on individuals, not even on the collective, but on the leadership. This is necessary to know. Apparently, the RTVS programming council was aware of this,” said Dr Jože Možina, a long-time journalist, researcher, publicist and former director of Television Slovenia in the show “Kdo vam laže?” about the recent events on RTVS, adding that the fact is that when the team falls into a dead end, you cannot expect them to see a vision for the future.

According to Dr Jože Možina, with the adoption of the new programme-production plan nothing so big has happened that it would require a revolt of some. “The management managed to draw up a programme-production plan in time and the programme council of RTVS approved it with a good majority (17 votes).” According to Možina, the programme enables development, a vision of new leadership for the future. “It is clear to everyone (not only viewers, but also employees on television) that we have run into a dead end at some important part. The more services were given to a certain political option, the more credibility was lost, and the number of ratings dropped, so action is needed.” Možina is convinced that it is necessary to give the new leadership a chance to prove itself. “I have been in this role myself; I know how hard it is. I admit that it is even harder now than when I was there.”

A large part of the employees on the news programme did not agree with the announced changes, Možina said. “They have every right to do so, but there is no responsibility here on individuals, not even on the collective, but on the leadership. This is necessary to know. Apparently, the RTVS programming council was aware of this. However, it is true that when the collective goes into a dead end, you cannot expect it to see a vision for the future.” He thinks this is the right time. He believes that most of the collective will get used to it and see it as a challenge. “To be even better, to be more professional, to be more balanced and that next year is a new opportunity for public television. For what the payers of the RTV contribution deserve.” He emphasised that we need a balanced television that will have equidistance to all ideological groups and political colours. “It is that, not normal television, as the saying goes.”

The previous management was not interested in a joint show

As we have been able to see, they have not called for an end to the epidemic on public television in the last year and a half. According to Možina, this is sad, unreasonable and a great pity. “I have to say that I was really offended on a personal level. After all, even in our family, people got sick. One uncle also died. We all know someone who has fallen ill or has serious consequences due to the covid-19 epidemic.” He says that he remembers when at the end of last September, he informed the then director Natalija Gorščak and the then editor-in-chief Manica Janežič Ambrožič about his proposal to make a joint show of the two biggest televisions. He estimated that with a good show we can reach up to a million viewers. And it would also be before another big wave that cut down a huge number of our people. “Interestingly, there was no real interest, even though the benefits would only be positive. However, it is true that this would show a united Slovenia. Politically united as far as covid is concerned. Businesses, athletes, scientists would take part here, nurses and doctors who fight for these people would be exposed. We would also have shown what consequences covid brings to survivors.”

Some saw the epidemic as a platform for political struggle

He believes that such a show would do a tremendous amount of good. “But they preferred to nit-pick and somehow promoted (not the whole news programme and all the collaborators) a minority that promoted anti-vaccination, vaccination problems (in an abnormal way), promoted those who did not wear masks and bragged about it, and at the same time they were in entertainment programmes.” Možina points out that this has further affected the negative atmosphere and the fomenting of the national split that eventually occurred in the field of vaccination: anti-vaccinators and which is why we now have such low vaccination coverage. “We are vaccinating, we have more deaths, more accidents, a worse economic picture and we are still divided. I am not saying that it is a matter of full responsibility, but unfortunately, we did not do what public television did in 1990/91, when it united the nation against a common enemy. At that time, public television had a lot of credit, it is a pity that we did not continue with this opportunity. Some saw the epidemic as a platform for political struggle. In fact, it looked like that. This is an opinion, my assessment. The worse, the better for someone,” Možina pointed out.

In neighbouring Austria, they are witnessing a completely different way of reporting on protests

“Some collaborators on our television promoted the protests. We were the media sponsor of the protests, which did not cause anything good.” Možina also said that when he was in Vienna last Saturday, there were the biggest anti-vaccination protests so far. 35,000 people and so on. Their reports in the evening were quite different from what was reported in our country during the biggest protests. The sad, worried faces of the leaders were seen, who said how many people had not been vaccinated. “It is an essential fact, to see that vaccination means that you are 10 times more protected than if you are unvaccinated, but you are never completely protected. Of course, public television has done a lot to promote positive things about covid, but in one part, what was set up also collapsed,” he is convinced.

Možina says that regarding the changes it must be said that they are non-political. It is a matter of professional considerations on how to revive the programme. “If it were a revolt, it would be a political revolt and it would bring it to the level of socio-political workers, which was before 1990. Unfortunately, for some even later. This means that the vast majority of employees are professionals and that they know how to work, and that everyone within their work environment will do what is best.” According to Možina, there is a hard core that is more ideological, and most of the employees are completely normal and accept new challenges. “If there was a revolt, we would saw the branch we/they are sitting on.”

The transitional left will not be left without power

Regarding the upcoming elections, Možina is convinced that the transitional left will not allow to be left without power, because without it, it will disappear. He is convinced that a negative personnel selection happened to them. Not only at the top in politics, but also in other areas. “They have non-charismatic staff, they keep them alive with the help of the media, but this is becoming too little. I think 2022 will be a year of surprises as far as the political campaign is concerned. We can expect such and other scandals, media bombs.”

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