STA, 8 April 2020- The programming council of the public broadcaster has come out in defence of independent and professional journalism after several RTV Slovenija crews have been attacked and Prime Minister Janez Janša accused the broadcaster of lying in recent weeks.
In a statement adopted after its tele-session, it condemned attacks on RTV Slovenija's independence and on the professionalism of its journalists.
Noting that constructive criticism is welcome because it can lead to improvement, "the council resolutely rejects all attacks which more or less openly aspire to damage RTV Slovenija's independence and the media professionalism of its staff".
The council said it supported upright journalism regardless of political or religious affiliation of journalists and regardless of their world-view.
It noted Slovenia being amid the Covid-19 epidemic, entering recession and witnessing increased social distress among its residents. But in this complex crisis, public media play an important role of bringing news, providing explanations and opening up debate.
The council said the situation demands great efforts and self-sacrifice also from RTV Slovenija, its leadership, editors, journalists and other staff to bring a professional public service.
Janša accused RTV Slovenija of lying in the first week after his government assumed power amid the coronavirus epidemic in a tweet targeting an interview with a trade unionist who expressed indignation about the government's pay raise. A few days later two TV crews were harassed verbally, with one of them also having the company's vehicle damaged.