EFJ expresses solidarity with Slovenian journalists

Zagreb – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has expressed solidarity with journalists working at the STA and public broadcaster RTV Slovenija as it urged the government to stop contributing to an environment in which verbal and physical harassment of journalists has become par for the course.

In a statement adopted by the EFJ General Assembly on Saturday, the organisation says the situation at the STA is “alarming” due to the suspension of public funding and “nearly a year of government blackmail”.

It says the government has been trying, symbolically and financially, to break “the information backbone of the Slovenian media environment, its professional integrity, editorial independence and institutional stability.”

The organisation calls for the immediate restoration of funding and the settlement of all outstanding payments to the agency. “This is the only way for the government to ensure compliance with the law, secure uninterrupted funding of the agency, and respect the citizens’ right to be informed.”

As for RTV Slovenija, EFJ says its stability, institutional autonomy and editorial independence has been undermined by the refusal of consecutive governments to raise the licence fee.

Additionally, senior government representatives have publicly called for the dismantling of the financing system, and the broadcaster and its journalists have been targets of verbal and even physical violence.

“The EFJ General Assembly expresses solidarity with the staff at the STA and RTV Slovenija and joins their demands for the preservation of the independence of public service media, for respect of their rights, and for a safe and stable work environment, which is a precondition for quality journalism in the public interest.”

The declaration goes beyond public service media by calling on the Slovenian government to “stop contributing to an environment in which verbal and physical harassment is a standard occupational hazard for journalists”.