Odgovor časopisu Euractiv glede umestitve Slovenije na nadzorni seznam CIVICUS Monitorja
V nadaljevanju objavljamo odgovor časopisu Euractiv glede umestitve Slovenije na nadzorni seznam CIVICUS Monitorja - gre za nevladno organizacijo, ki spremlja stanje državljanskih svoboščin v državah članicah. Kot glavne razloge za umestitev organizacija navaja medijske razmere, zlasti očitke o sovražnem okolju, s katerim se srečujejo novinarji in stanje financiranja STA.
Euractiv se je na evropsko poslanko Romano Tomc obrnil s prošnjo za komentar. Na podlagi prošnje smo časopisu poslali spodnji komentar, na kar pa smo s strani novinarke Euractiva prejeli odgovor, da ga, zaradi priprave prispevka v audio obliki, ne bodo vključili v prispevek.
Komentar objavljamo v original obliki, torej v angleškem jeziku. Neuradni prevod je na voljo v priponki:
"Dear Ms Killeen,
Thank you very much for reaching out to us and for being prepared to also hear our side of the story.
I am sad to say that the CIVICUS report is just another motion in a set of actions against the Slovenian government. There has been many attempts already made in Slovenia, without any avail. Now this movement has moved to the European level. Unfortunately, the report is so unbalanced it is hard to believe that it is even taken as a serious report. One must see who the sources of the information are. That would explain a lot.
Let me explain some additional facts about Slovenia. To everyone in Slovenia it is clear that the government does not use any violence against journalists and does not restrict media freedom. This is the story to those foreigners who do not know the situation in Slovenia, who do not understand the language to monitor the situation themselves and to those who want to intentionally harm the current government and spread false news, malicious information and outright lies. None of the journalists is persecuted and intimidated by the government. However, many journalists are harassed by their tycoon owners. It is also very sad that many young journalists have to accept precarious work and are miserably paid by those who use them as a means of maintaining their monopolies. These are the problems that should be addressed.
In accordance to the independent survey of the Faculty of Media, 80 % of Slovenian media is left and strongly anti-government oriented. You can also find many social media posts on journalists’ profiles that clearly show hard activism against the government. You can see journalists calling the government, Prime Minister and Slovenian president fascists. None of them has been prosecuted. Do you find this as an example of attacks on media and journalists?
The story of the Slovenian Press Agency is much broader than described in the media. It is the question of transparent and fair business and the appropriate and lawful use of financial resources derived from taxpayers' money. Given the facts known so far, there is a strong suspicion that the public money, provided by the government as the sole owner of the agency, to finance the public service, has been spent non-transparently and outside the permissible limits. Unfortunately, by refusing to control business and money spending, the STA’s director is jeopardizing the agency's operations and many jobs, which is unacceptable. You would probably agree that it is quite unusual for an owner to be denied the right to control, especially because in this case, when it comes to spending public money, control is a very sensitive issue. We all hope that this non-transparent behaviour will stop soon, so that the Agency can be released of this burden.
Among the major problems of the Slovenian media space are non-transparent ownership and large, probably legally inadmissible media concentrations. This was also pointed out by the European Commission in its first annual report on the rule of law.
Slovenia will be on head of the European Union in just a few days. I am very sad to see how many attempts are made to weaken our position in the European area. Attempts against the government of Janez Janša, that took office just before the pandemic hit and that has worked tirelessly to help the Slovenian people, economy, sectors to get through the pandemic as smoothly as possible. You are probably aware that the Commission has announced a faster recovery for Slovenia than for some other member states. The government’s efforts are giving results.
This is not a short comment but I would also be happy to provide you any additional information on this situation in future.