Ljubljana – The coming months will be difficult for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija as the government intends to undermine it similarly as it strives to ruin the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), says the weekly Mladina in its latest editorial, noting that RTV Slovenija’s greatest ally in this fight will be the public.
In 2020, when the public broadcaster revealed irregularities in PPE procurement, thousands of anti-government protesters, rallying in the streets of Ljubljana, used to make a stop at the RTV Slovenija building to express their support for reporters working there.
“The fight for the independence of RTV Slovenija is also the fight for the independence of judiciary, education and other institutions and culture.” The Janez Janša government primarily aims to destroy the rule of law system and media.
The systemic undermining of the STA shows how uncompromising these efforts are and how little the government cares about reactions from abroad.
Going about destroying RTV Slovenija requires different tools than the ones used in efforts to bring the STA to its knees. The new RTV Slovenija director Andrej Grah Whatmough, “a man without experience and know-how who did not meet the requirements for the post”, has the trust of the government and coalition and “understands what he needs to do: demolish RTV, take away its credibility, destroy journalism”.
He proposed the dismissal of TV Slovenija director Natalija Gorščak in such a way so that he found a way around the programming council’s role in this decision and will be able to appoint a new director in mid-August. What will follow will be the destruction of “everything that bothers Janša, Tonin and Počivalšek” in TV Slovenija’s programme.
Perhaps the government’s objective of taking control over the public broadcaster will be met, however the public would remember this in the next election, reads the editorial entitled Destroy, Break to Pieces.