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RTV Journalist Speaks Out About Mobbing Under The New Management

We have already reported that on Tuesday, due to the personnel changes and the pressure put on some TV show hosts and journalists by the new management of the national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS), the young presenter of TV Dnevnik (Daily News), Valentina Plaskan, had to be taken to the emergency room. She has now revealed to the media outlet Slovenske novice (Slovenian News) what actually happened.

“Even if our mind is convinced that we can do everything, sometimes our body shows us very clearly that it is absolutely necessary to set limits. I believe that such warnings, however shocking they may be, are valuable – for others and for ourselves. Further examinations are still underway, but initial assessments suggest that it was an anxiety attack caused by the stress and pressure I was under at work and also by burnout,” she told reporters.

She said the event itself was really traumatic. “At one point, I thought I was having a heart attack, my heart was pounding, my body was shaking, I couldn’t breathe normally, I couldn’t walk or sit. I also want to thank my colleagues who selflessly came to my aid until the emergency aid team arrived, as well as the journalists for their wishes for a speedy recovery,” she said.

She revealed that she had been working all day, every day throughout the summer, when a large part of the news team was on annual leave, both editorially and as a presenter and journalist, and was on the verge of exhaustion by the end of the summer: “At the beginning of September, I was also deeply shaken by the sudden death of my friend, valued mentor and colleague Sašo Hribar, with whom I had worked for many years on the Radio GaGa show. A week after that, from one day to the next, without any concrete analysis being presented to me, staff changes started to take place, and I was removed from the presenter and editor positions I had held until then.”

Under the new management, she said, there were overnight requests to change her plans, which were set until the end of November because of the pre-known schedule: “I have never seen anything like this, even in the much more unpredictable private sector. I have also been subjected to blanket statements about my work by some colleagues, unsupported by facts or any serious analysis, one of my colleagues shouted at me in a meeting in front of the whole editorial board on Monday, just for the sake of it. This is unacceptable pressure, which was, of course, already present before, from a small part of the news programme team. Some of them also published untruths and unverified information on the Tukaj.smo (We are here) web portal. In their articles, they exclusively insulted and attacked me. Although it is clear to an adult that such behaviour says more about the individuals who practise it than about the person they are targeting, in recent days, such pressures have once again crossed the line. My body has just made it clear to me that at some point, even at work, you have to clearly say enough is enough.”

Plaskan also said that she finds it difficult to understand that individual journalists, “even in a professional environment, seek in every event a basis for recreating discord and alleged ideological divisions that should have remained in the last century, or at least at the door of an independent state”: “It is dehumanising, to say the least, that they just ‘throw in’ an ‘alleged’ political connotation without any guilt, and above all, they mislead the public with such unverified allegations.”

Moja Dolenjska

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