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For the Second Time Now, The Economist Has Attacked the Slovenian Government with False Accusations –the Journalistic Activism has Overstepped the Bounds of Good Taste!

Slovenian Radio-Television has proven to be too independent for Slovenia’s current Prime Minister Janez Janša, the British weekly The Economist wrote – which is supposedly known as a fairly credible and objective media outlet. However, the cited statement shows it in a completely different light. They also wrote that for more than a year now, the Prime Minister has been browbeating the network journalists on social media, which is why there is only a small number of journalists left who are still resisting, and the rest of them have already been silenced. Do they even realise how bizarre all of this sounds for anyone who tries to follow the reporting of our mainstream media for at least a few minutes, even if they do not know about the ownership and structural background? The political activism of the journalists has really overstepped the bounds of good taste this time.

The Economist’s website states that they adhere to the fundamental principle of being honest, sincere and fearless in collecting, reporting and interpreting information. In addition, they also stress that they verify all of the facts from their editorials and that they use objective data and research when reporting. They also state that they are neither left nor right, but a mixture of both; they consider themselves to be a kind of radical middle ground. In short, they consider themselves to be an extremely objective media outlet, and that is also the reason why the authors of their articles remain anonymous.

Despite all of the above, they allowed themselves to publish an article entitled “Populists are threatening Europe’s independent public broadcasters,” which starts with: “If you can’t take them over, defund them.” With this, they hinted at the idea that the current Slovenian government was refusing to pay for the national RTV Slovenia, and in addition, it also supposedly wants to adopt a new media law that would facilitate its control over the public media. They not only hinted at this but actually wrote it down and pointed out that RTV actually proved to be too independent for the current Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, who has supposedly been browbeating the network’s journalists on social media for more than a year now. Wags have consequently dubbed Mr. Janša “Marshal Twito,” which is a nod to Josip Broz – Tito, Yugoslavia’s long-time dictator.

Their reporting is far from reality
The feeling that the media is biased and favours the left-wing pole has taken root among the European conservatives, according to The Economist. Populist parties are said to also be calling for budget cuts in Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany – in addition to the already mentioned Slovenia.
They even mentioned that the journalists from the Dutch NOS also faced intimidation, most recently being physically attacked during the protests against the coronavirus measures. They forgot to mention, however, that in Slovenia, such attacks mainly happen to the pro-government media and journalists.

The Economist was already summarising Anuška Delić Zavrl’s articles last year
This is not the first case of the British weekly reporting on the situation in Slovenia in a misleading, untrue way, and with a clear agenda, which is typical for our left-wing opposition. In June last year, for example, they wrote that the Slovenian Prime Minister is a carbon copy of his Hungarian colleague Viktor Orban. They also cited the investigative journalist Anuška Delić Zavrl in their article, saying that Janša was trying to turn Slovenia into another “illiberal democracy,” following the example of neighbouring Hungary. They wrote a number of made-up claims and did not provide substantial evidence for any of them. Gregor Slabe responded to The Economist, writing: “You had a great opportunity to reveal the truth about the Slovenian media and the legal system, but you instead chose to be lazy.” It seems that even if they received his letter, they did not bother reading it.

The foreign media are more interested in the political agenda of their Slovenian colleagues than the truth – where does this put them in terms of credibility?
We can clearly see that the foreign media care more about the political agenda of their Slovenian colleagues than they do about the truth. This realisation is extremely worrying and also tragic. If there is no more freedom of the media, if the media are no longer in service of the truth, but in the service of political propaganda against a sovereign EU Member State and its government, they are in fact in the service of worthlessness. But we also need to ask ourselves why such articles are even being written in the first place. Economic propaganda pays, but what about political propaganda? This is probably also being paid – but likely in a different way. For now, the key question remains – what is the actual currency here?

Sara Bertoncelj

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