The Slovenia Times

Demokracija: PM rewarding journalists for "media murders" of rival SDS


Ljubljana - Last week has shown whose servants are the many journalist who were calling for journalistic autonomy under the previous, SDS-led government, including during the strike at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, the magazine Demokracija says in Thursday's editorial, headlined Incest of Journalism and Politics Laid Bare.

It points to Petra Bezjak Cirman from RTV Slovenija becoming acting UKOM director and her husband Primož Cirman, editor-in-chief of Necenzurirano portal, whom PM Robert Golob lauded by saying that "he is one of the best investigative journalists in Slovenia, if not the best. If he ever wants to [work for me], I'll hire him anywhere."

In this way, Golob responded to the unofficial reports that Cirman will become editor-in-chief at news site in the autumn after the government politically replaces the Telekom Slovenije leadership, the company which owns TSmedia, part of which is Siol.

The reason why Golob respects Cirman is probably because Necenzurirano systematically attacked the Janez Janša government with various "investigative stories", which were also widely quoted by RTV Slovenija and POP TV journalists in their news programmes.

Journalist Vesna Vuković from the same portal has meanwhile become PR chief officer at the ruling Freedom Movement, while it is still not entirely clear for what services a company she founded and led in 2017-2021 received more than EUR 100,000 from GEN-I when the energy firm was still led by Golob, allegedly for "business consultancy".

Demokracija also points to Necenzurirano journalist Tomaž Modic being recently hired as adviser to the parliamentary inquiry that Freedom Movement MP Mojca Šetinc Pašek, an ex-journalist, heads into financing of parties before the April election, "the commission that wants to get even with the media close to the SDS".

"Anyhow, it became very clear last week that the three journalists from Necenzurirano are being rewarded by the leftist authorities for their media favours, that is for systematically attacking Janša's SDS and deliberately undermining the previous centre-right government, for 'presstitution', as some on the social media put it."

This "collusion of left-wing journalist activists with politicians of the transition left" is particularly problematic because throughout the transition from the former regime and especially during the last Janša government, these activists talked about pressure being exerted on the media while setting out to protect their independence.

In practice, "they are anything but independent or professional because all these years they have worked in the interests of one political side. When Golob hired them, they unwittingly exposed themselves completely". From this aspect, "their past actions, writing and reporting are much more understandable to us", the magazine says, adding that "this is perhaps good for the Slovenian media landscape".


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