The public broadcaster RTV Slovenia has strongly rejected allegations of irregularities and pressure on its employees.
In a statement, its general director Andrej Grah Whatmough said that the management “strongly supports journalistic and editorial independence and condemns any abuse of the public institution RTV Slovenia and its creators to gain pre-election political points”.
It also “strongly rejects the allegations made in the joint statement of the leaders of the opposition about the alleged irregularities in the appointment of the leadership, editors-in-chief and editors”.
Whatmough went on to say that the management “has never put pressure on journalists and programme editors on RTV Slovenia… moreover, due to numerous pressures on the creators of RTV Slovenia, the general management had to resort to stricter measures to protect journalists and editors, thus reporting some inadmissible interventions to the competent institutions and offering employees appropriate legal protection”.
He concluded by saying that “the management of RTV Slovenia will always strive for professional and independent work of RTV Slovenia journalists without political interference in their work and will continue to professionally lead the public media house”.
Meanwhile, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has expressed concern at a recent move by RTV Slovenia’s programming council intending to restrict criticism made by the journalists’ trade union representative about the public broadcaster.
Mojca Zabukovec, general secretary of the EFJ affiliate Slovenian Union of Journalists (SNS), said: “The situation in RTV Slovenia (with more than 2000 employees) is getting worse almost every day, journalists face pressures, censorship, and self-censorship. The management of RTV Slovenia is actually an extension of the current political power in the country. The general director is preparing to introduce the so-called ‘guidelines’ according to which he will be able to dismiss any journalist who does not ‘behave well’ on social networks”.