RTV Slovenija journalists to go on strike on Monday

Ljubljana – Journalists at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija will go on strike on Monday after their 23 May strike and subsequent talks with the management brought no progress on their strike demands.

The strike will take place between 2pm and 11pm, and a rally will be held at 7pm in Republic Square, across the street from the National Assembly.

The journalists will demand urgent action to preserve the public service, including from parliament, the strike committee said Wednesday as it decided on the strike.

The strike demands remain unchanged – journalistic, editorial and institutional autonomy, an agreement on staffing policy and raising the lowest pay.

One of the demands is also that the strike is paid.

The journalists have been recently “shocked” at director general Andrej Grah Whatmough’s proposal to abolish correspondents in Moscow, Berlin, and Rome and the Vatican, as well as to cut down on the staff in Brussels.

Apart from the US, these cities form the backbone of RTV Slovenija’s network of correspondents outside Slovenia.

The proposal is seen as amounting to the full erasure of TV news service, further curbing of international content, and destruction of the mission of the public media.

The Slovenian Journalist Association (DNS) also responded to the proposal, saying it shows a lack of understanding of the importance of RTV Slovenija as a public media outlet that also informs about events abroad.

The DNS said such a move would be in violation of the RTV Slovenija act, which obligates the broadcaster to provide credible, impartial and comprehensive news.

The group of in-house trade unions said that “with his assistants and misguided programme policy, the director general continues the degradation of the public service”.

The strike committee noted that in the talks over the past two weeks, Grah Whatmough had not put forward any acceptable solutions.

The situation at TV Slovenija’s news room is worse by the day, communication is chaotic, and more than 30 journalists have left since the start of the year, they said.