The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 5 March 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here
Mladina: Slovenian media not leftist
STA, 5 March 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina rejects the allegation that Slovenian media have left bias, arguing in Friday's commentary that the opposite is in fact true: the majority of Slovenian media are conservative and promulgate economic liberalism.
In the commentary On Media Bias, Mladina takes the example of both leading TV stations, public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and private broadcaster POP TV, which it says are "economically not just liberal but mostly neo-liberal," rarely giving leftist ideas airtime.
"Both stations advocate low taxes, and businessmen are the principal interlocutors when it comes to assessing the effectiveness and quality of the state administration. Speaking against the capitalism order is near blasphemy."
The commentator argues that Slovenia in fact has just one properly leftist party in parliament, the Left, which is "despised and denigrated by the majority of Slovenian journalists and editors".
"The Slovenian media industry is far from leftist. If one compares them to German media, the majority of Slovenian media would place in the conservative camp - and even the magazine you are holding would be more centrist than leftist in Germany."
The commentator also says it is not true Slovenian media are friendlier to "so-called left parties" and their leaders, they are just as ruthless to them as they are to Prime Minister Janez Janša and his SDS, and not just when left parties are in government.
The SDS's fishy dealings and Janša's odd statements appear in media reports so often not because of alleged media bias, but because of the simple fact that "Janša and the SDS are connected to so many inadmissible actions, suspicious transactions and instances of questionable conduct that this is of course news for the majority of the media".
"It is possible to criticise Slovenian media for many things. But if Janša was treated as uncompromisingly as they treat the other politicians, the majority of present-day youngsters would only know the name Janez Janša from the history of independence because he would have been long gone from Slovenian politics."
Demokracija: Janša’s invitation to EU fact-finding mission
STA, 3 March 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija welcomes Prime Minister Janez Janša's invitation for the European Commission to send a fact-finding mission to Slovenia in the latest editorial, expecting it will put the record straight and show how biased Slovenian media are.
The weekly says Janša's letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for Brussels representatives to come to Slovenia to see the state of the rule of law, democracy and media freedom themselves brought an expression of concern on the faces of the left wing.
"The media mainstream reported that the Commission president rejected the possibility of a visit by a special group. In their view this is her brush-off to the Slovenian PM. Well, it is a poor consolation. It was merely a clear message that in writing reports about Slovenia the Brussels bureaucracy will take into account not just what it is being sold by the prevailing media, NGOs, 'academics' and left political parties (including at the EU level), but will also listen carefully to right-wing government structures.
"And it was a word of caution to European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova (who has been leading an outright campaign against the government over alleged violation of media freedom), to take that into consideration. This is one of the reasons we were able to read dramatic writings at the weekend about 'Brussels' interference as a double-edged sword' [...]"
The weekly finds that Janša's letter has achieved its purpose. "The parasites have come out in the open at last. It is clear they do not want a disclosure (when talking about the media) of the dirty details, incestuous links and ideologically coordinated attacks that have led to a completely distorted media landscape that has been teaching the audience what to think rather that give it an opportunity to think based on unbiased and credible information.
"More than 80% of the media structure in Slovenia is of the left world view, the ideological competition is being under attack all the time and the prevailing concept in the media is political correctness and liberal democracy as the only redeeming and allowed ideology," writes the weekly under the headline Parmenides' Chariot.
All our posts in this series are here