What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Fake News & the “Bad Bank”

By , 28 Dec 2018, 13:00 PM Politics
Mladina: Marjan Šarec, Person of the Year. Reporter: A magical Christmas with the Tonin family Mladina: Marjan Šarec, Person of the Year. Reporter: A magical Christmas with the Tonin family

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Mladina: Fake news at Spiegel shows how important it is to stick with reality

STA, 28 December 2018 - The latest editorial of the weekly paper Mladina looks at Spiegel's Claas Relotius scandal as a symptom of a spectacle-seeking media landscape that has been compounded by new media forms. These are cashing in on the credibility built by traditional media in the past while only mimicking real journalistic tenets.

Serious print media, which actually are the only ones with enough room to carefully dissect social events and processes, find it hard to compete and attract readers these days.

While facing competition from thousands of new platforms, traditional media are also suffering under commercialisation, under the need to only have content that is extraordinary, giant, surprising.

The Relotius case is of course a warning to the media, whose existence is a basic condition for democracy but also has the potential to cause enormous harm.

It is a warning to everyone, to journalists, as well as to the public. It shows that reality is not always interesting, shiny, explosive, extraordinary. It is often banal, a little grey, frequently even uninteresting, full of data, some of which paradoxical, sometimes without a guilty party and simply a result of unexpected circumstances.

However, it is worth hanging on to such a reality, even if it is not be as juicy or attractive as videos of accidents on YouTube or emotional posts on Facebook.

Reporter: A welcome inquiry into the Bank Asset Management Company

STA, 24 December 2018 - Reporter welcomes in its latest commentary the establishment of the opposition-initiated parliamentary inquiry into the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC), which according to the right-leaning weekly is "one of the biggest hotbeds of white-collar crime in recent years".

In the commentary headlined “Self-service Bad Bank”, editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla says that "we are living in a country which has all the elements of a parallel state, where informal levers of influence are stronger than formal ones in many fields."

According to him, networks from behind the scenes actually rule the country. Unlike the government, which is supposed to work in principle in the public interest, these networks take care primarily of the interests of its members, so that as much public money as possible ends up in their private pockets.

Welcoming the parliamentary inquiry into the bad bank, the commentary notes that many bad things happened and are still happening behind the walls of the BAMC. There were probably some criminal acts committed, but they have so far not been discovered by the Court of Audit or criminal investigators.

Soon after being established in 2013, the bad bank turned into a self-service restaurant for networks, where a lot of tycoons, who first dug a hole in state-owned banks, made profits.

The new inquiry, which will probably be headed by New Slovenia (NSi) MP Jernej Vrtovec, should be welcomed, as the deputies intend to investigate both the transfers of assets to the bad bank and the possible involvement of public office holders in these transactions.

"Of course they were involved, because it is well known who made the staffing decisions at the BAMC in the recent years, who let the Scandinavians be chased away from there and merged the in-house banks of Kučan's Forum 21 - Faktor Banka and Probanka with the BAMC and then even employed their people in it."

All this happened in the term of the government headed by Miro Cerar, or actually headed instead of him by people from behind the scenes while he was consciously looking away, concludes the commentary.

Other posts in this series can be found here (note that sometimes we use another right-wing weekly, Demokracija)

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