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Analysis of RTV’s November Reporting: Unilateral Reporting, Censorship, Data Manipulation

The unbalanced reporting of Slovenian media is no secret, and we have previously already written about it – especially about the reporting of the national media outlet, RTV Slovenia, which should really report impartially. The analysis presented in this article shows how TV shows such as Jutranja kronika (Morning Chronicles), Odmevi (Echoes), Dnevnik (Daily), Poročila (News), and Tarča (Target) presented the news they reported on in November. Oftentimes, RTV Slovenia allows itself to omit opinions from members of the government or stakeholders in the discussed issue.

However, as individual media outlets have only been publishing excerpts from the Government Communication Office’s media analysis which also details RTV Slovenia’s reporting, we decided to take a closer look at the November analysis in its entirety, as it proves that RTV Slovenia shows over and over again that it is not, in fact, a truly objective media outlet.

The analysis shows that in its reporting, RTV Slovenia literally omits the opinions of the “other side.” Earlier this month, when one of the main topics of their reporting was the funding for the Slovenian Press Agency, it was reported that the new director of the Slovenian Press Agency, Igor Kadunc, met with the director of the Government Communication Office, Uroš Urbanija, and then Kadunc’s response to the meeting was played, but not that of the Communication Office. One-sided reporting keeps lining up day by day. A video clip from the show Dnevnik of the 2nd of November, talking about how “the announcement that the Slovenian Army Guard and Slovenian Prime Minister laid a wreath at the monument to the fallen Home Guard provoked violent reactions,” also only showed the responses of the opposition, but not the response of Prime Minister Janez Janša or any other member of the current government.

RTV simply did not report on the bilateral meetings of Prime Minister Janša
The show Odmevi also often only invites one party to discuss the issue at hand on the show, which also happened in the Glasgow article about the possibility of nuclear energy replacing oil and coal. The tv show guest Dušan Plut problematised Janša’s call. The show Odmevi only presented the arguments of one side, the representative of which was present in the studio, and the other side was not represented equally. “Regarding the RTV reporting on the summit in Glasgow, we also want to draw attention to the fact that no article even mentioned the bilateral meetings between Prime Minister Janez Janša or even his meeting with the US President Joe Biden. For comparison: during the visit of the former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec at the forum in Davos, for example, his meetings with Serbian President Vučić, Kosovo Prime Minister Thaci, and EIB representatives were all presented in various TV shows. When former Prime Minister Cerar went to the United Nation’s General Assembly, RTV Slovenia reported on his meeting with General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, as well as his attending a reception hosted by then-President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.”

RTV also censors and conceals important information
After the publication of the entire recording of the conversation between the current Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Andrej Vizjak, and businessman Bojan Petan, Vizjak explained what actually happened. In its show Odmevi, RTV hosted Primož Cirman, who was presented as a journalist from the Necenzurirano (Uncensored) web portal, and Peter Gregorčič, presented as a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana and an active citizen, who, years ago, was one of the initiators of the constitutional review of the public funding of private primary schools, who is now also a political commentator. “The host of the show certainly kept quiet about important facts about Cirman – namely; he did not state that his appearance was a conflict of interest, as Cirman actually works for tycoon Martin Odlazek‘s media outlet, which Minister Vizjak described as part of the ‘garbage mafia.’ When a journalist withholds facts that are important and would help the viewer better understand the story, he clearly violates the journalistic code of ethics.”

RTV also manipulates statements
The table published by the Government Communication Office, with the detailed analysis, clearly shows that there is only ever one-sided representation, as RTV never tries to get the government’s response to a situation but instead reports on it one-sidedly. In addition, the statements were also manipulated. On the 12th of November, the show Dnevnik reported on self-administered testing for the coronavirus at schools. They presented the statements of the president of the Association of Principals of Primary and Music Schools, Gregor Pečan, the director of the Koper Secondary School of Economics and Business, and the representatives of the Association of Parents’ Councils of Slovenia, but then used an old statement of State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Damir Orehovec, from a press conference. It is a manipulation to use the statement of State Secretary Orehovec in this context, as they published an old statement, which was not a response to the further comments from representatives of the education sectors.

We can clearly see that RTV Slovenia is certainly not an objective media outlet that reports and shows both sides and all stakeholders in a situation but instead allows itself to help shape opinions of citizens with one-sided portrayals of the situation in Slovenia, which is certainly not their intended mission.

Sara Kovač

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