Ljubljana – The Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) has raised EUR 274,743 in what turned out to be a two-month fundraising campaign for the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) after the state funding of its public service had been suspended. The money has been transferred to the STA’s account, the association said.
The money will secure wages for STA employees for the next month or two.
“The campaign has bought some time for the agency but did not solve the core problem of funding the public service of informing domestic and foreign public,” the DNS said, thanking the donors.
The association also said that the latest government move, adoption of a decree on the STA, had only seemingly solved the problem while in fact it brought the story back to square one, back to an agreement between the STA and the Government Communication Office (UKOM).
This shows that the government’s intention is not to solve the financing problem but merely put up a show, probably for the international public, the DNS said.
It noted that the STA’s founder was obligated to finance the STA’s public service by law, which however did not say that the STA must fulfil any additional conditions to receive the funding.
The funding for 2021 is based on the STA’s business plan, the association said.
“All other demands by the state, including on signing a contract, are legally disputable and most certainly do not reflect a genuine will to end the unjustified financial extortion of the public media outlet. Nevertheless, the STA is trying to meet the new conditions but without a reply.
“The STA is these days performing particularly demanding and responsible work of reporting on Slovenia’s presidency to the Council of the EU, so we are appealing to the state’s conscience to cover its liabilities without condition.”
The “Za obSTAnek” campaign was launched at the beginning of May as a one-month campaign raising funds for the STA via small SMS donations and a donations bank account, which remained open in June as well.
Individuals and companies can also help the STA by buying its T-shirts or subscribing to STA services.