Paper against treating public TV as state media

Koper – The newspaper Primorske Novice cautions against abusing and undermining public media, especially during an election campaign, and against silencing journalists, as it takes a look in Thursday’s commentary at how RTV Slovenija has been attacked by current government officials.

Public television is one of the greatest achievements of advanced modern societies, the paper says, adding that a strong public electronic media outlet is part of a solid and important European tradition, and pointing to BBC.

TV Slovenija, Slovenia’s public TV broadcaster, has been built for years and decades, while authorities have been recently systematically undermining it.

Tweets and statements in which the senior-most government officials urged against paying the RTV Slovenija licence fee were only the beginning.

The Government Communication Office has now been publishing regular reports on the work of RTV Slovenija for several weeks. “And these documents are frightening.”

Government clerks are dissecting TV and radio news, writing long comments on what journalists should and shouldn’t do.

They base their comments not on any professional criteria but only on the assumption that public TV should be pleasing to authorities, that is on a wrong belief that public TV is state TV.

“We have had serious problems telling apart the public from the state-owned for quite some time in many areas… But the consequences of throwing the media on the altar of a desperate election campaign … could be horrible, and we should be aware of them,” concludes the commentary headlined Public or State Television.