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Once Again, The Mainstream Media Remained Deliberately Silent On The Protest Of Thousands Of Disgruntled Pensioners

Despite the rainy weather, a crowd of several thousand people attended the ninth protest rally of pensioners that took place on Friday, but once again, it was not covered by the mainstream media. Given that the lighting of Christmas lights in Ljubljana took place at the same time, instead of focusing on the disgruntled people, attention was focused on the naming of the fir tree in Prešeren Square.

Pavel Rupar, President of the 1st of October Institute (Inštitut 1. oktober), had announced the ninth protest rally of pensioners that would have happened in any kind of weather at the previous protest – and indeed, people were not stopped by the unpleasant weather. A crowd of several thousand people waved flags in Republic Square, but apparently, the gathering was still “too small”, as the mainstream media acted as if the protest had not happened at all.

“Shame on POP TV, A-kanal, Planet TV, N1, Dnevnik, Delo, Reporter, Večer, Odlazek’s media, Radio Ena… Where are the Association of Journalists and the Slovenian Press Agency, where are the journalists’ associations? Not one of these, not a word about the pensioners’ rally. Bent, meek journalism… You poor people!!!” wrote Pavel Rupar on X.

This is not the first time that the media have deliberately ignored the protests of pensioners. Every time one has happened so far, there has been a problem. At every protest so far, the major print media have pretended that a protest by pensioners who just want a decent life did not happen. Pavel Rupar, the leader of the civil initiative the Voice of Pensioners, has repeatedly pointed out in response with frustration that the media, which we are also obliged to pay for by law, and he specifically singled out Radio PRVI, did not report on the event at all. “This is completely at odds with their coverage of protests by other people’s initiatives. Apparently, the second largest group of people in Slovenia is not important even to the largest state radio and the largest commercial television station,” he said critically at the time, adding that instead of the due attention and respect they should have received, they were immediately discredited by some of the initiators, disparaged and humiliated in order to tarnish the honour and good name of the individual and thus to nullify the importance of the rally.

“The failure to report on the protest of 20,000 upstanding people (1 percent of the population) in the major media, including the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia, is a crime against democracy and free journalism. In the short term, pensioners are the victims, in the long term, these media and their godfathers will get the short end of the stick. Keep it up, Pavel Rupar!” pointed out Aleš Primc, a Ljubljana city councillor.

The protest took place at the same time as the lighting of Christmas lights in the capital, and the mainstream media were present there. There was no way that the loyal government dogs would miss an event that was further politicised by Mayor Zoran Janković, as icing on the cake. Apart from the big show, the Christmas tree that stands in Prešeren Square was named after Tina Gaber, who was there with Prime Minister Robert Golob. So much attention for the Prime Minister’s companion and a spit in the face for the pensioners.

T. B.

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