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Thursday, June 13, 2024

ZNP on publication of the media freedom ranking of Reporters Without Borders: The problem of the Slovenian media space continues to be its pronounced imbalance, to which, among other things, media monopolies linked to the ruling politics contribute

By: C. R., STA

According to the Association of Journalists and Publicists (ZNP), there is no reason for excessive joy after the publication of the Reporters Without Borders media freedom ranking, according to which Slovenia moved up four places. According to them, the situation in the media is not much better than a year or two ago, and nothing shows that it could significantly improve soon.

Full ZNP statement:

“Today, the international journalist organisation Reporters Without Borders published a ranking of media freedom, in which Slovenia moved from last year’s 54th place to 50th place. We do not know on what basis the mentioned scale is created. The Association of Journalists and Publicists (ZNP) was not asked for its opinion, which is why, in our opinion, the ranking is necessarily based on incomplete data.

In general, we do not see any progress in the state of media freedom in the ZNP compared to last year. On the contrary, some facts show that the media space in our country is even less plural than it was in the last year, and to the extent that the government’s intention to politically subjugate RTV Slovenia succeeds, the plurality of the media space will further significantly decrease.

Among the facts that point to the decline of pluralism in the media space, it is worth noting that last year the government, through its supervisors at Telekom, replaced the editor-in-chief of Siol.net, the second most read portal in the country. Immediately after taking up the position, the new editor-in-chief withdrew from public publication some articles that were critical of Robert Golob’s government and the Fotopub affair, including the former editor’s column. At the same time, the new editor significantly turned the editorial policy of the portal, which often revealed irregularities in the government, to the left, thereby further losing pluralism in the Slovenian media space.

To a large extent, the freedom of the media in Slovenia last year and this year could also be influenced by the government’s intention to politically dominate the national RTV-house with the amendment of the law on RTV Slovenia and to install a leadership that will be to its liking. For now, fortunately, such an attempt has been prevented by the Constitutional Court, but it is not known in advance what will happen. In the ZNP, we hope that the Constitutional Court will judge professionally and will not succumb to increasing and more obvious political pressures. If the amendment is not repealed, this will mean that the national RTV house will be completely subordinated to the current ruling policy under the guise of leadership by civil society.

The problem of the Slovenian media space continues to be its pronounced imbalance, which is contributed by, among other things, media monopolies connected to the ruling politics. One such is the media empire of Martin Odlazek, who (according to our belief) even by circumventing the anti-monopoly media legislation controls a growing number of media in one way or another, and the state does nothing to prevent such a monopoly.

There is therefore no reason for excessive joy after the publication of yet another ranking of media freedom. The situation in the Slovenian media is not significantly better than it was a year or two ago. You could say it got worse. For now, there is no indication that anything could significantly improve soon.”


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