The Slovenia Times

Trade union critical of coalition's boycott of RTV Slovenija shows


Ljubljana - The Journalist Trade Union has criticised the coalition parties for deciding to boycott RTV Slovenija shows discussing the situation at the public broadcaster and the changes to the RTV act while the opposition Democrats (SDS) are still collecting signatures for a referendum to which they want to submit the changes, passed in July.

The three coalition parties announced on Tuesday they would not take part in these shows to avoid taking part in the abuse of the public service for a referendum campaign.

Responding to the announcement on Wednesday, the trade union labelled the decision as an unacceptable show of giving up on the public media outlet.

The union is happy with the coalition's support in principle of RTV journalists on strike, but boycotting the RTV shows on this topic means non-support.

Thus, a key public media outlet is being marginalised, while "the public's right to be informed is being undermined and the possibility of having a public debate on the future of the outlet, which is essential, is being limited".

The union believes that if the coalition feels they are not allowed to present their views on RTV, they should resort to the many tools they have at their disposal to challenge this, including inspection checks or criminal complaints.

Claiming they cannot act in the face of irregularities and damage caused to the public interest and public good, and announcing they are pulling out because they feel the public media space will not be fair to them, "is an unacceptable message of powerlessness, which shows an abdication of the responsibility that comes with power".

The trade union believes that it is time to support "not only with words but with actions" the staff at RTV, who have fought for their rights and autonomy since May.

The coalition also said yesterday that it had been mulling an idea to recall the programme council at RTV as a step to depoliticise the public broadcaster before its changes to the RTV act take effect. However, it has decided against it, arguing such a step would be unlawful.

The Freedom Movement, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Left also said that they would like the changes to the RTV act to take effect as soon as possible. And if a referendum on the them actually takes place, they will actively participate in campaigning.


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