07 Apr 2020 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 26 Mar 2020 n° 34/2020 Slovenia
Slovenian Prime Minister Attacks Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVS) on Social Media
On 20 March 2020, the Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Janša used social media to accuse Slovenian public broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVS) of spreading lies about the government and issue a veiled threat over its funding. "Do not spread lies. We pay you to inform, but not to mislead the public during these times. Obviously, you are overpaid and well paid," Janša said on Twitter, responding to a video clip posted by the TV Slovenia Information Program. Janša was reacting to a segment aired on RTVS in which a commentator discussed criticism of the government's decision to raise salaries for ministers and secretaries. The PM followed up with another tweet the next morning which again criticised the broadcaster’s coverage and questioned why it needed so many staff. According to reports, the PM’s public reproach was followed by a barrage of criticism of RTVS online from government supporters. In response, the Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) said: "The Prime Minister's statements… are understood as a threat to RTV Slovenia employees against possible loss of employment or other repressive measures that may come if they do not report in accordance with the current authorities.” RTVS Director General Igor Kadunc also responded, saying the “grossly unjustified attacks” on RTVS coverage had damaging consequences for media freedom and were aimed at the “subordination of the central media to one political option”. He added that the comments “indicate a serious threat to free and independent journalism.” This is the latest in a wave of incidents involving threats and insults from authorities against Slovenian journalists and media over the last few months.
- EBU statement: "EBU calls on Slovenian authorities to respect PSM autonomy"
- Statement by the Slovenian Association of Journalists :"Vladna depeša blati ugled države in sramoti novinarstvo"
- Second tweet by Prime Minister Janez Janša
- First tweet by Prime Minister Janez Janša
- IPI report:"Slovenian journalists operate in increasingly toxic atmosphere"
- Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) statement: "Napadi na javni servis so nesprejemljivi"
- News report published on news portal Dnevnik:"Šef nacionalke Igor Kadunc kritičen do Janeza Janše: »Nismo v vojni in na cenzuro ne pristajamo« "
- News report published on news portal Večer :"Zaostreno na relaciji Janša-novinarji. Svet Evrope opozarja na omejevanje dostopa javnosti do informacij "
07 Apr 2020
Response by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
28 Mar 2020
OSCE Media Freedom Representative urges public officials in Slovenia to refrain from pressure on independence of public broadcaster