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Foreign Correspondence From Brussels Suspended Because Of The Correspondent’s Statements On The SDS Party And Janez Janša

The national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS) will apparently be making changes to its correspondent network abroad, and the changes include the abolition of the correspondence post in Brussels, from where Mojca Širok reported. The latter had recently made a claim about Janez Janša and his Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) that the RTVS management certainly did not like. Is the loss of the correspondent’s post the price for that?

According to the Slovene Association of Journalists (DNS), the RTV Slovenia administration wants to change the correspondent network abroad, which would, among other things, eliminate the second correspondent post in Brussels, from where journalist Mojca Širok reported. We have asked RTV Slovenia directly if this claim is true and what is the reason why the RTV Slovenia management is now also going after “its own people,” but we have not yet received a reply.

In a public letter, the Slovene Association of Journalists warned the administration about the harmfulness of the plan to change the correspondents’ network. The RTVS administration apparently plans to abolish the second correspondent post in Brussels and freeze the correspondent posts in Rome and Moscow for four months – but what is striking about this is the timing of their decision.

Are the successes of SDS and Janez Janša not allowed to be praised on RTV?

As we know, the Brussels correspondent is journalist Mojca Širok, who, in one of her recent articles, apparently praised someone she should not have. Indeed, Mojca Širok recently stated that “The Slovenian Democratic Party is the only one who understands how to work at the European level. Its President, Janez Janša, is the only one who understands European politics and is involved in it even when he is not in government.” Among other things, she explicitly praised MEP Dr Milan Zver as the prototypical good SDS MEP.

This is what Mojca Širok, the RTV Slovenia correspondent in Brussels, said in the podcast The Art of What Is Possible (Umetnost možnega). The conversation was about the European elections, and it was received extremely well on social networks.

Could this be the reason for her recall?

We asked RTV Slovenia directly about the reasons for the abolition of the correspondents’ posts and the possible recall of Mojca Širok, but we had not received a reply by the time of publication of this article. If what we have written above is true, however, we also wanted to know the specific reason for her alleged recall.

The Slovene Association of Journalists was critical of the cost-cutting at the expense of reducing the correspondents’ network and suggested that the Management Board “re-examine the rationale and implications of the planned changes in cooperation with all stakeholders involved and find a solution that is professionally justified.” While the change would have meant dividing correspondents into radio and television correspondents, the proposal was not coordinated with all directors. They warned that the split proposed by the management “is not sustainable and raises a number of questions about the transparency and efficiency of such a system,” they added.

T. B.

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