The supervisory board of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) has called on the government to immediately settle all of its outstanding liabilities to the news agency and comply with its legal obligations to finance STA as a public service. There was no immediate response from the government.
The demand comes after the US State Department emphasised in its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, for Slovenia that: “Significant human rights issues included: threats of violence against journalists by non-government actors, and criminalisation of libel and slander.” It also noted that “independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views without restriction.”
Nevertheless, journalist organisations reported growing hateful rhetoric and threats against journalists online, spurred by animosity from officials, the report added.
The report also highlighted Hungary’s influence on Slovenian media: “Watchdog groups’ concerns about alleged financing of certain Slovenian media outlets by sources tied to Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party increased on 30 September, when Telekom Slovenije sold Planet TV to Hungary’s TV2 Media, owned by Jozsef Vida, reportedly linked to the business network of Fidesz.”
Two Slovenian media outlets associated with the Slovenian Democratic Party, weekly newspaper Demokracija and the NovaTV web portal and TV channel, have long been rumoured to receive funding from Fidesz allies, the report noted.
The country’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to the report because it is still being examined, STA was informed.
(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)