Culture Ministry Working on Proposals to Reform Slovenian Public Interest Media

By , 08 Jul 2020, 11:20 AM Politics
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STA, 8 July 2020 - The Culture Ministry is not preparing only changes to the RTV Slovenija act but a media reform that would bring changes to the media act, the act on the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and the act on audio-visual media services, the newspaper Delo reported on Wednesday.

The changes to the act on the STA would change the appointment procedure for supervisors and for dismissing the STA director. Under the proposal - the new supervisors would be appointed by the government within 15 days since the implementation of the act - the rules of the companies act would apply for appointments and dismissals at the STA.

The Culture Ministry thus proposes that the government and no longer the National Assembly appoint four supervisors, while one would be elected by the workers.

The STA director could be dismissed before the end of the term if a majority of the supervisory board decided so.

The changes to the media act would extend the status of special importance also to printed and on-line media which serve the public interest, so they too would be financed from a part of the RTV Slovenija licence fee.

Distributing a part of the licence fee to some other media is envisaged by the changes to the RTVS act. According to media reports, the draft changes envisage allocating 3% of the money to finance the STA and 5% to "implement public interest". RTV Slovenija would also have free access to STA contents.

But the public broadcaster would lose its transmitting business, which would be transferred onto a new fully state-owned company. The ministry would on the other hand mitigate advertising restrictions for RTV Slovenija.

A fund would be set up to finance Slovenian TV production. Led by the Culture Ministry, it would be financed by operators. Eligible to its funds would be TV broadcasters that have the status of a non-profit media outlet of special importance and reach at least 0.3% of viewers per month on average or are available for free via DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial).

Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti started presenting the planned changes to coalition partners last week, but no public presentation was held yet as the ministry says changes to the draft proposal are still possible.

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