By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv
“My personal opinion is that the violent intrusion of the OPS movement into the studio of the public RTVS was an unheard of guerrilla action in the style of the South American juntas. But I also think that we have the right to criticise RTVS because we pay for it. It is a mistake to believe that every opinion and every criticism of RTVS is an attack on the autonomy of journalism and its professionalism. And the fact is that the best opinion about RTVS cannot be the one RTVS has about itself, but viewers have to judge about it. It is important for viewers whether someone builds trust or not,” explained RTSV journalist Igor Pirkovič in Tema dneva.
“The Ljubljana administrative unit banned further rallies of the group, which protested in front of the RTVS building for several months and also broke into its interior on Friday. The ban could not be served to the organiser, but it was made public, which counts as delivery,” said the host Luka Svetina in the show Tema dneva. As can be seen from the E-uprava portal, the group had registered rallies in front of the RTVS building in Ljubljana every day until the end of this year. Police suggested a ban on the protest of movement to the conscious people of Slovenia (OPS) under the leadership of Ladislav Troha, in July when the protesters have already violated public order and peace, but the administrative unit did not follow them at the time. Following Friday’s raid on the RTVS building, police again filed a motion to ban rallies and appear to have been successful.
Pašek Šetinčeva herself broke into one of the sessions of the RTV programme council in guerrilla style. An announcement regarding the political epilogue of the intrusion of twenty people into RTVS studios: according to unofficial information, editor and journalist Mojca Pašek Šetinc suggested at the meeting of journalists of the news programme that the active journalists try to replace the director of RTVS due to the recent intrusion into the premises of public television, explaining that he did not protect them enough. A group of journalists and the Workers’ Council (Petra Bezjak Cirman was also present) are still discussing this. According to the SIOL web portal, the proposal caused great surprise on RTVS, as it was Šetinc Paškova who, together with journalists, broke into a session of the RTVS programme council five years ago, where she was joined by left wing activists who entered the building past security guards and they brought with them inscriptions such as “Death to Janšism!”.
This time, Svetina hosted renowned RTVS journalist Igor Pirkovič in the studio. The host of the show first pointed out the fact that the police finally managed to prevent the OPS from banning the protest in front of the national television building. He wondered if they were finally relieved, as the protests had been dragging on since April and the work of the journalists had therefore been hampered. Pirkovič: “Some were all the more relieved because they worked in the afternoon and evening on the first and second floors of RTVS, where the cries of virus deniers were heard even more. But the following was strange: they appeared in May. It was said that they would stay until June, early July. I heard they were supposed to stay until the end of the year. Their perseverance needs to be acknowledged, because they insisted in rain, wind, 40 °C.” According to Pirkovič, Troha, the leader of the OPS movement, did not move for an hour and sat in his chair all the time. An intervention route for normal arrival and departure was provided for RTVS employees and guests.
RTVS journalist Pašek Šetinčeva has double standards: Years ago, when she broke into the building, she did not demand the resignation of the director general
“How did they even get to the studio? Namely, conspiracy theories are emerging online that someone let them in. How did they find the studios?” Pirkovič replied that they might not really find a way to the studio to the third RTVS programme, where he himself also works, but the studio they broke into is in a very accessible location, close to the entrance. It is also possible that Troha has been a guest of some show in that studio for the last ten, fifteen years. As he pointed out, there was no conspiracy and they also did not have a guide. “Someone just knew the studio was there.” At the same time, Svetina reminded of the accusations that appear among the journalists of the national television – that the director did not protect them enough during all this time when there were protesters in front of the building. He reminded that journalist Pašek Šetinčeva had submitted a proposal to the journalists to dismiss the director. “How do you understand that; how do you comment on it?”
Pirkovič: “No one called on the previous director to protect those when certain things happened to us. Whoever the director would be could not do more as this one did. I see this as a way or a convenient means of settling accounts with the current director, who is legitimately elected and who should show what he can do, what he knows, who should be given time. After all, years ago, someone also occupied the fourth floor – when he occupied the RTVS programming council. Among those who broke in was also a man who openly threatened Jože Možina (I think it was Igor Bricelj).” There is also talk of posters “Death to Janšism!” and that they simply invaded and occupied the space and put pressure on the programming council – the highest body of RTVS. Pirkovič is convinced that there is already too much politicking in the media and emphasised that the General Directorate should be allowed to do what its mission is, what it is paid for, and then it will be evaluated.
The zeal to protest the OPS movement is due to the fact that they are not reported, and Friday protesters are regularly reported on
“Very late, the media received information that all these permits were given to Troha and OPS by the City of Ljubljana. When it comes to this, it is necessary to use the truth,” Pirkovič was convinced, believing that the general director did not have greater powers to do anything. Further, Svetina compared the protests in front of RTVS with those that take place every Friday in front of the National Assembly. The public was not properly informed that representatives of the OPS movement were protesting in front of national television all the time, but on the other hand RTVS intensively reported every Friday on what was happening in front of the National Assembly’s building, where their informal leader Jaša Jenull was also present. “Can we draw parallels in this case?” Pirkovič said that in both cases these were extremes. The theories of virus deniers seem “crazy” to him, so he would probably act similarly (we are talking about reporting).
On the other hand, the impetus or motive was supposedly given precisely because no one has seen or heard of the OPS members, while in the case of “cyclists” almost their every step is reported. “But there is something you need to know: if something is not in the media, it has not happened.” The host of the show also reminded that the Slovenian Journalists’ Association (DNS) came forward and used Troha’s intrusion into the studio for a kind of political showdown – as if discrediting journalists of the public RTVS had been there for a long time and that the intrusion into the public house was merely a logical consequence, allegedly targeting certain words at the expense of journalists written on Twitter by the ruling party, “while the Association of Journalists and Publicists did not explicitly respond to this. How do you see that?”
RTVS alone cannot have the best opinion of RTVS, but its viewers, whose trust it must gain
Pirkovič: “My personal opinion is that the violent intrusion into the studio of the public RTVS was an outrageous guerrilla action in the style of South American juntas. I think we also have the right to criticise RTVS since we are paying for it. However, it is wrong to believe that every opinion and every criticism of RTVS is an attack on the autonomy of journalism and its professionalism, etc. It is also a fact that RTVS cannot have the best opinion of RTVS, but viewers must judge in this regard. What matters to viewers is whether or not someone builds trust.” Regarding the Troha incident, he said that he was condemned by everyone, including those who were accused of enjoying what was happening. It is true, however, that we should have the same watts for other cases of similar events.