By: Sara Rančigaj / Nova24tv
Tensions are growing in the Middle East, and the division of the media around the world and in Slovenia is growing. In recent days, it has become apparent that some media outlets simply do not want to express an opinion on what is happening in Israel. A similar story applies to our public television, which should be objective in the first place, but does not seem to want to include contributions directly related to Israel. According to a published letter from journalist Nejc Krevs, a long-time expert on the Middle East, the editor-in-chief Manica Janežič Ambrožič personally prevented Odmevi show from broadcasting an editorially commissioned interview with Israeli Ambassador to Ljubljana Eyal Selo, explaining that both sides should be heard.
In the new article, Požareport draws attention to the open sympathy of the public RTV Slovenia with Palestine. “Immediately after the outbreak of the latest bloody conflict between Israel and Palestinian Hamas, there has been criticism, especially on social networks, that public RTV Slovenia “openly sympathises” with Hamas while reporting on these conflicts,” explained investigative journalist Bojan Požar.
He then published a document revealing the so-called “pro-Palestinian” active censorship of the editor-in-chief of the news programme, Manica Janežič Ambrožič. According to a published letter from journalist Nejc Krevs, a long-time expert on the Middle East, who was personally prevented by the editor from broadcasting an otherwise editorially commissioned interview with the Israeli ambassador to Ljubljana, Eyal Selo, at Odmevi show.
Krevs believes that he found himself under pressure, as he agreed with the editor of Odmevi Valentin Areh to prepare a contribution in which he will include the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Slovenia, His Excellency Eyal Selo, who spoke about the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, internal political divisions in Israel, relations between Slovenia and Israel, and the support of the Slovenian state that the Jewish community has the right to defend its sovereignty.
The editor considered that the publication of the article was inadmissible, but she herself spoke about the lack of “media freedom”
“After a few hours, when I had already prepared the content of the article, the editor of the show Odmevi, Dr Valentin Areh informed me that he could not publish the article because the editor-in-chief of the news programme had prevented it,” he further explained. The editor then replied that the publication of the article was inadmissible, as only one side of the story was presented. “I reminded her that in the same show, before my contribution, we also have the contribution of my colleague Karmen W. Švegl, where the opinions of both parties are expressed,” he said. Krevs is convinced that the ambassador’s statement in his contribution would add value to the show and thus provide viewers with a broader picture of the situation, which is by no means unambiguous. According to the information, this is at least expected to be discussed by the RTV programme council at today’s session.
Employees are said to be disappointed with the new director
The new director general of RTV Andrej Grah Whatmough appeared three weeks ago. The new director supposedly spends all his time in the office, which he does not leave at all. “Upon his arrival, he did not even give the employees of RTV a short presentation e-mail, saying, here I am, let’s get to work,” Požar explained. He points out that the new director is considered an introverted person, and he only goes around accompanied by the assistant general manager Marko Fili, but Grah Whatmough is silent for most of the time.
Sources warn and estimate that director Grah Whatmough has almost completely missed or wasted the opportunity to establish directorial authority within RTV, but if later he may really want to do something, change, staff, it is only a question of what will happen. This is especially evident in the case of journalist Boris Vasev from MMC RTV and Bojan Krajnec from the TVS entertainment programme, who, according to Požar, should be sanctioned because they clearly violate the ethical rules of RTV civil servants on social networks. “Hysterical letters (also to all possible European) journalistic institutions will follow, there will be reports of mobbing and announcements of journalistic and other strikes, of course an extraordinary session of the parliamentary committee for culture chaired by Violeta Tomić (Levica), and then it will be too late for him,” Požar is convinced.