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“My Wish is That This Media Outlet (RTV) Would Become Objective, Pluralistic and Balanced in the Near Future”

Just like the middle class is slowly disappearing in our society, a similar thing is also happening in the media – they are also often subject to the so-called cultural communism. “There are practically no central media outlets in Slovenia,” said the national councillor Dr Matjaž Gams. Political scientist Miro Haček pointed out that recent research shows that the media in Slovenia are not balanced, as most of them are at least slightly inclined to the left. “My wish is that this media outlet would become objective, pluralistic and balanced in the near future – so that all voices from the political sphere would get their own place in it,” Haček commented on what the public RTV Slovenia should be like.

The show Odkrito (“Revealed”) began with the confession of a mother, who wrote on her social network profile that a session was scheduled to take place in the National Assembly, which would give parents a glimmer of hope that someone is finally willing to listen to them and help. Namely, at this session, the act should have been passed on this session, which would have increased the income for parents of children with special needs. “I ask all those sitting in parliament whether you are there for the people or just for yourself,” she asked. As we know, the session was cancelled, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Igor Zorčič, also voted against the agenda for it.

“What happened is a part of the political game, an indicator that we are slowly approaching the parliamentary elections and the pre-election period – which the opposition reckons will come very soon,” political science professor, Dr Miro Haček explained, adding that this, of course, does not mean that the act in question will not be adopted soon. Both sides have already filed requests for extraordinary sessions. We are obviously moving to a period of extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly. In the coming days, we will also probably witness an extraordinary session about a single matter, the proposal for the constitutional impeachment of the Prime Minister, and on the other hand, we will also see the extraordinary session which will be more substantive and at which the MPs will discuss bills that the ruling coalition intended to discuss at the May regular session. “Of course, the MPs are there to represent the interests of the citizens, as the Slovenian Constitution says – but sometimes, political games overshadow this interest, which should actually be the main focus,” said Haček.

Scoring political points during the epidemic is incorrect
The host of the show, Igor Pirkovič, wondered whether the work of the National Council is more constructive than the work of the National Assembly at the moment. National councillor Dr Matjaž Gams confirmed that the Council operates quite differently. In the National Assembly, everything is much more focused on politics, political games and who will be the winner. “Their way of operating is similar to football or professional sport,” Gams explained, adding that in the Council, it is the arguments that are the most important. To some extent, the orientation is similar here, as the majority is held by the mayors, but still, the way of operating is significantly different and, according to Gams, also much better.

So far, Slovenian political history has shown that destruction has rarely usually not been rewarded, and the same goes for the negative political campaigns. “However, Slovenians have historically accepted the policy of cooperation much better than the policy of separation,” Haček pointed out. While this kind of political games are part of democracy, Gams pointed out that there are still situations in which this should not be done and when the quarrels should be forgotten, and we should all stand together. This applies to the times when the whole country or society is in danger. Of course, this also includes the epidemic, so it was incorrect of many politicians and the media to try and score political points at the expense of dead people. When asked why the measures were not followed in our country as much as they were in Austria, Gas answered that he believes there are three reasons for that. The first reason is the anti-vaxxers, the second is the politics that did not come together even at this difficult time, and then there are the media. “Of course, nobody can tell the media what they should and should not say, but if they are trying to score political points by promoting anti-vaccination ideas, it is, of course, difficult for the measures to be successful,” Gams explained.

We are currently in a period of marked polarisation in Slovenia
TV show host Pirkovič then read the following post from Facebook: “JJ (Janez Janša) should be sent to Goli otok forever, the damned fascist, as well as the entire SDS party, the whole Dolenjska gang should just be sent to Goli otok,” Samir Mizič commented on a post published by Miha Kordiš, the Levica MP, in which he wrote: “Sand into the engine of Janšaism! At the suggestion of the Levica party (The Left), we just tore down the agenda of the regular session of the National Assembly with 42:42 votes, so the session fell in its entirety. Translation: a bunch of harmful laws have been blocked in the process, including the one on the Demographic (privatisation) Fund. Up yours, JJ!” We are currently in a period of marked polarisation in Slovenia, Haček pointed out – when the right and the left political poles are strengthening. Both actually need each other to also strengthen each other, as not only one side can be polarised. While both of the extremes are strengthening, the middle is slowly emptying and is on the verge of a collapse. It is interesting that back in the days, 40 percent of the Slovenian electorate was considered to be moderate. Haček said that the last politician to build a bridge between the two political poles was Zdravko Počivalšek. He decided to work with the “opposite” side, but we can see where he ended up. SMC is practically a dead party that has relatively few options without connecting with other parties.

Making people stupid also makes the media stupid, and vice-versa
As for the media, Gams said that they have their own rules of the game – because of the ratings, they only publish what people are interested in. “And if people are interested in strange things, just look at Tik Tok – the crazier it is, the more viewers it has,” he recalled an example of when the Slovenian swimmer had only a few views on a post of her gold medal, and of course, there were many more views or likes on her swimsuit photo. “Making people stupid also makes the media stupid, and vice-versa,” Gams described this vicious cycle. “My view of the media is simple,” Haček responded. On the one hand, we have a multitude of private media companies, practically all of which are politically defined – which is not wrong, after all, the owner is the one who finances the media outlet and even in the US, there is practically no media outlet that is not politically defined, which they also share publicly. “You simply follow the media outlet that you like and for which you know what it offers,” said Haček, adding that on the other hand, we do have a public media outlet, but only one. This should actually be as balanced and impartial as possible, also because we cannot subscribe to it voluntarily as users. “My wish is that this media outlet would become objective, pluralistic and balanced in the near future – so that all voices from the political sphere would get their own place in it,” the professor shared what the public RTV should actually be like.

Our society is polarised by cultural communism or “cancel culture”
The host of the show then asked whether there was a kind of cultural fight going on in Slovenia. “This fight does not only exist in Slovenia, but tectonic shifts are also happening in the entire information society,” Gams replied. It is unbelievable that, contrary to the predictions of the visionaries, cultural communism is now gaining popularity – this is the main guideline or the “cancel culture” that polarises society, polarises men against women, and vice-versa. Gams explained his claim by saying that the basic idea of communism is that everyone gets the same, regardless of their ability and amount of work. How strong of an influence this ideology has already gained has also been shown by the fact that urinals at certain faculties were broken. The main reason for this idea gaining in popularity is, of course, social media. Informational technology is changing society, but not in the direction we first thought it would, as it also has a lot of negative side effects.

People who have no understanding of the Slovenian political system are entering politics
Why don’t more people in Slovenia decide to enter politics? This issue was touched upon in more detail by Haček, who pointed out that a lot of people are joining politics, who should actually not be there. He believes the reason for this is the extremely low level of trust in politics and political institutions, and especially in political parties. We have one of the lowest levels of trust in political parties in the EU, as practically no one trusts them. But it is also true that we really only have two or three well-organised political parties, and on the other hand, there is a multitude of smaller parties – we have, for example, a party in the National Assembly which has 350 members and 5 MPs. “We have built a party system that has, on the one hand, three or four strong parties which are well organised, including financially, and on the other hand, a multitude of parties that do not even have a proper field network, and their staff is not politically socialised – people who have absolutely no experience or any understanding of the Slovenian political system are entering politics. And the consequences of this are not surprising,” Haček said. Ideally, at least two political elites would regularly be changing in the position of power, and it would be even better if there were more. In this way, none of the elites can become too accustomed to its position, and the abuse happens more rarely, especially if the supervisory institutions in the country are operating relatively poorly.
You can watch the show in its entirety here.

Sara Bertoncelj

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