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The Association of Patriotic Journalists is clear: It is time for STA to become a private medium, as it was in the original

According to our information, the Slovenian Journalists’ Association is preparing a rally of support for STA director Bojan Veselinović for today. Only they continue to support the real sole culprit of this farcical dispute. The tragic irony of fate is that the ideologically left-leaning media about workers and workers’ rights are always loud. “I do not know exactly who the Slovenian Journalists’ Association (DNS) is advocating for. Certainly not for employees, because otherwise they would have protested a long time ago over miserable fees and spoke up when it came to light what reward was awarded to civil servant Bojan Veselinović and what salary he has. What is appropriate funding, is a matter for the owner and by no means hired labour, which is what STA employees and external collaborators are. I do not see any responsibility of the current government in this forced “war” between UKOM and STA,” said the president of the Association of Patriotic Journalists, Jože Biščak.

In our media, we exclusively shared the information that there will be another “journalistic rebel” spectacle in front of the STA headquarters, directed by the Slovenian Journalists’ Association. On Monday, May 3rd, 2021, at 11.15, they prepared a rally in support of director Bojan Veselinović, but not for the employees who are the real victims of Veselinović’s political games. “Journalist fighters” for workers’ rights have once again proved that a well-paid director means more to them than his 100 miserably employed workers. Equally, the whole thing seems absurd to the president of the Association of Patriotic Journalists, Jože Biščak.

He finds it unbelievable that the DNS is advocating that the media “continue to pay double for STA services in the name of media freedom.” Most Slovenian media are privately owned. The Slovenian news agency thus offers its services to these media, which pay STA for the first time through taxes. “And for the second time through services (subscriptions to STA agency news).” He illustrates this with an example of paying for the purchased goods at the checkout. However, after the purchase, another cash register would be waiting for us, “where we would have to forcefully pay for the purchased goods again.” With such public advocacy on behalf of “all” Slovenian journalists, the Slovenian Journalists’ Association advocates another socialist idea of stealing public and private money from the Slovenian media. “So it is in favour of depleting the Slovenian media, which is certainly a double payment for one and the same service.”

UKOM has the right of access and the duty to ensure the lawful operation of STA

The entire Slovenian public is wondering who is more responsible for the situation in the STA-UKOM dispute. At least according to a long-time journalist with more than 40 years of experience, he confirms the thesis that the original responsibility lies with the STA leadership, “who should have been aware of who owns this public service. That is the state.” The STA case is actually reminiscent of a type of civil disobedience. Since last October, the subordinate director of STA Veselinović has been refusing to hand over the required documentation to its owner, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. So far, it has never been a problem for UKOM to act on behalf of the government. Until the appearance of the current government, when Veselinović began to think that the real owner was the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, not UKOM.

Biščak is of the same opinion. Each executive authority (government of the Republic of Slovenia) is authorised to manage these assets. In this case, the asset manager (UKOM) requested a certain part of the STA business documentation. This documentation should be handed over by Veselinović immediately, and the owner “would judge what is appropriate financing of STA.”

Biščak suggests that it is time for STA to become a private media outlet, as it was originally. The media cartel in the service of the former regime has repeatedly been appalled that UKOM director Uroš Urbanija asked STA why they had an interview with Zlatko, but not with other Slovenian musicians. It is the dominant media clowns from the left who forget that the last valid contract between STA and UKOM was signed during Šarec’s government. At that time, the director of STA Veselinović thought it was a great contract. With the change of government, however, it did not seem worthwhile for Veselinović to hand over all the documentation that UKOM expects of him on behalf of the employees without any harassment. Regardless of the huge media help at home and abroad, Veselinovič did not expect that the director of UKOM, Uroš Urbanija, would ignore the daily media slander.

We know many private media agencies around the world. Similarly, thirty years ago, STA grew as an independent private medium. Biščak thinks the same, that after three decades it is time for it to return to its original roots. The editor-in-chief of Demokracija would send STA into the privatisation process. “The agency would be bought by interested media, which are the biggest users of this kind of agency service and, as is normal in democratic and free countries.”

In the left wing media, we often hear praise for the STA. Every great product has always found a buyer in the market. “Slovenian media will “fight” for ownership, the state will be able to achieve an excellent price, net taxpayers will only be happy that Veselinović and his comrades from Tivolska cesta 48 will no longer forcibly burden our wallets,” says Biščak.

This is the solution to end the abuse of state property and the public service for purely private purposes and interests. “That is why I propose the sale of STA: about 60 percent of STA is offered to the largest users of services so far, 40 percent of STA is put up for free sale (also to individuals). The state or state-owned companies may not participate in the purchase,” concludes the president of the Association of Patriotic Journalists of Slovenia.

Luka Perš

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