People are not aware of how thick skin everyone who has been reporting from the field for Nova24TV in recent years had to get if they wanted to survive in this unfriendly and hostile media atmosphere. Namely, the Nova24TV media was not received with open arms, journalists were ridiculed and despised, saying that they were not real journalists – even though many of them had worked in journalism for many years and were also educated journalists. Merely because they were not part of an established clique, they were not accepted. But the left wing opposition, with its subordinate media, is doing its best to show that the majority media and their journalists are being attacked and oppressed. In a dictatorship, it is dangerous to do journalistic work, self-censorship is the least that can happen to you. Allegedly, they are sending daily reports dominated by the Prime Minister’s tweets to the EU platform intended for the safety of journalists. Is it right that real cases of pressure and attacks on journalists go unreported? A link to the mentioned platform is available at the end of the article.
Nova24Tv brought some fresh wind, reporting from another angle, which was very upsetting to many. Hostile looks, middle fingers, spitting, and many other things were experienced by Nova24TV journalists, even though they did not report on their bitter experiences. Journalist Luka Svetina admitted that he also had problems when he had to go to the field and pull out a microphone with the inscription Nova24TV. He was afraid of harassment, even though he was just doing his job. In the show Tema dneva, Svetina still tries to do his job as correctly and objectively as possible, which was also acknowledged by members of the opposing camp, in those rare moments when they dared to cooperate with our media. Many still boycott the Nova24TV medium and harass it, even though they have never had a bad experience with it. The journalist also pointed out that every time he went out to protest in the last year, he feared for his safety, as did the cameraman. Svetina is even of the opinion that at that time no journalist from other media houses was so frightened that s/he might have to self-censor as a result. No media has been under such pressure as Nova24TV, there is no doubt about it.
If we only take a quick look at some of the events that took place during the year of the current government. It actually started even before the government was formed. At the rally against the coalition of hatred, they shouted “Kill Janša!” even before the parties SMC and DeSUS decided to enter the government of Janez Janša. Even then, pressures not to form this government at all began. “But only a naïve person would still believe that they are really fighting against hatred, because we have not heard so many hatreds, threats, and even calls for a massacre of opponents since the all-Slovenian uprisings led by the same people,” we wrote one year ago. At the beginning of the rally, the bonfire was lit by the columnist of the Maribor Večer, Svetlana Slapšak, who called for the opponents of the left to be unconditionally destroyed. “Janša and his supporters, the opposition media, and those rare central politicians who are not too scared yet, must be destroyed in a Machiavellian way. Truth and honour should be cursed. They are the architects of evil,” Slapšak said. However, it did not end there. These compassionate, sentimental anti-hate people then began to label politicians of DeSUS and SMC, bombarded them with all sorts of hate words, and finally decided together that they are “finished”. Death threats in the Slovenian capital. Of course, the protesters who are fighting “against hatred” also chanted peaceful slogans, or at least they were probably peaceful in their heads. Because, you do not fight against hatred by chanting the words “finished” and “traitors” and, of course, “Kill Janša!”. All subsequent protests also pointed out how hard it was for the left to endure the re-formation of the right wing government after eight years.
The left political option likes to accuse the right wing of inappropriate communication, insults, harsh words and so on. But in reality, they are the ones who do not choose their own words at all. A year ago, a member of the party of the outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, and at the same time the leader of the party’s joint parliamentary group Brane Golubović said the following on national television: “Look, people overlook. People change. We have one journalist who wrote for right wing newspapers and is a normal journalist today.” To put it bluntly – journalists who write for more right wing media are abnormal journalists. Even the one that Golubović had in mind and became normal was, by Golubović’s definition, previously abnormal. Thus, whoever is not on the correct side is deviant. And this is supposed to be appropriate communication? On public television? Similarly, SAB MP Marko Bandelli cannot hold back on his statements: “You know, I really mean something. I would not be bothered by the right if they were constructive with the opposition. Sometimes a bit of different ideology is good because it breaks the monotony of politics. It is only that…this is NOT RIGHT WING in our country!! It is vermin, destructive dictatorial radicalism. An autocratic and absolute monarchy,” he raged on Twitter last December.
Many may have already forgotten how the president of the SAB party, Alenka Bratušek, in her recent post on Twitter, grossly manipulated the statements of the director of Nova24TV, Boris Tomašič. The party president was appalled that Nova24TV’s “journalists” had allegedly insulted “chef grandmaster” Ana Roš, who wondered how she would pay salaries to employees when restaurants closed during the declared epidemic. In fact, among other things Tomašič commented on the biased reporting of POP TV with the following: “This government is taking action. When it took steps to help tourism, vouchers, you jumped in the air again and said it was irrelevant, and that it made no sense, etc. You have the option of waiting for work, a whole line of measures, and the sixth anti-corona law is being prepared while five have already been accepted. The government is making an effort, let’s talk to the government, the caterers, everyone who is affected. Organisers of fairs, events, etc. We are looking for solutions. But do not spit and attack, as if the government were taking something from you. The government is trying to prevent the crisis; it wants to stop the epidemic. Is this so hard to grasp. It is not doing this to harm caterers. It did not restrict the work of caterers because it does not like them or because it wants to harm them.” The truth on the left is not the most popular virtue, so they often decide to not even use it.
Zlatan Čordić, also known as rapper Zlatko, attacked a cameraman of Nova24TV at one of the cycling protests and stole his camera. As was evident from the confession of the cameraman as well as from the recordings, it was a planned attack on an employee of Nova24TV. Our reporters reported that the cameraman was completely shocked by the violent rapper. It was obvious that it was a deliberate act, as the protesters surrounded him and Čordić pulled his camera from him. “Zlatko physically attacked a cameraman, the police intervened,” RTV Slovenia journalist Aljoša Masten reported from the field. However, later the media reported the incident at Friday’s protest rather biasedly, even concealing who the attacker was. “One of the protesters attacked the cameraman of Nova24TV and tried to take away his camera,” they said in an informative show on RTV at 13:00, without even hinting that it was their favourite, their pet. On the 24ur portal, in the title and introduction of the article, they even manipulatively wrote that the protest passed without major incidents. And while we are on this topic, even less was reported when the same Čordič attacked the director of the NIJZ Milan Krek.
Thursday’s violent protest, which could have cost the life of photojournalist from Bobo photo agency, Borut Živulović, but fortunately did not, brought a new wave of ignorance by the central media and left wing politics. What has been predicted for some time now, has finally happened on November 5th. Violence erupted at one of the protests. The hooligans dealt with the police in a partly organised manner, but they also attacked media representatives. Photographer Živulović’s face was “remade”, he was made unconscious, and we can only ask ourselves what else could have happened if he had not been defended by a journalist colleague, Aljoš Kravanja. The mainstream media, with their bias in choosing news coverage, participated in encouraging and promoting the protests. Their “subscribers” on the political left suddenly distanced themselves from the protests and pointed a finger at Anonymous.
Recently, the SD party crossed the line of what is acceptable in the Slovenian media space. Our cameraman was physically denied access to the publicly announced event – Tanja Fajon’s press conference. From the mouths of the SD public relations representatives, even scary words could be heard that we were not wanted at their press conferences. Denis Sarkić, the party’s spokesman, said in a telephone conversation that they did not want to cooperate with us, so they are discriminating among different media. “The great “advocates” of media freedom are proving that they are essentially mere oppressors of human rights.” In the special show Kdo vam laže, Boris Tomašič listed some more aggressive actions by opponents of the current government. From burning a puppet of Interior Minister Aleš Hojs to kicking a ball with the image of Janez Janša’s head, they also attacked a police officer, not just a photojournalist, and banners with the words “death to Janšism” were even found at a session of the RTV programme council. Can Janša’s “inappropriate” tweets, which are basically just responses, really conflict with all of the above? In our opinion, not even close.
The left wing media send daily reports to a platform dedicated to the safety of journalists and the protection of journalism. They, of course, report everything they can find, and regardless of whether the report is justified at all. Therefore, it is right that the other side also tackles the reports, from attacks on cameramen, tweets of politicians, manipulations of politicians, to the ban on access to press conferences of political parties, nothing should go unnoticed. It is right that both sides are heard in the EU: https://www.coe.int/en/web/media-freedom/the-platform