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Tomašič, The Director Of Nova24TV, On Its Beginnings

“I believe we are one of the few, if not the only, television in the world that the ruling coalition regularly deals with in the National Assembly,” Nova24TV Director, Boris Tomašič, said about the ruling coalition’s attitude towards media freedom. In this week’s episode of the show “Tema dneva” (Topic of the Day), he spoke about the beginnings of Nova24TV, the ruling coalition’s efforts to destroy it, and the plans for the future of the television station. He also invited the television station’s supporters to a celebration on the 7th anniversary of its existence, which took place on Saturday, the 4th of March, in Stična. “All those who love and support us are welcome,” he said, adding that even those who could not afford to buy a ticket will be able to enter, as Nova24TV understands the plight of people under the current government.

“We realised that the media market was so hermetically sealed and leaning to one side that we had to do something to break that seal. People wanted it. In fact, this was later proven when the shares of our television were put on the market. Thousands of people bought shares, and we raised 1 million euros from the investments made by the people. However, this fact is often omitted when we talk about how Nova24TV is financed,” said Nova24TV’s Director, Boris Tomasič, about the television station’s beginnings.

According to Tomasič, Nova24TV has been funded by the people, by our viewers, from the very beginning. “Even today, they continue to support us. On the occasion of our seventh anniversary, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and help, both financial, and otherwise. It’s good to hear praise for doing a good job,” he pointed out.

Tomašič then pointed out that Slovenia had not made the transition from the old regime after gaining its independence. The media remained the same. “We know that before independence, the media were set up and controlled by the party. The new media that were created were always on the side of the so-called transition left because of the money flow. The right or conservative half did not have its own media in terms of television,” he stressed, adding that the idea of setting up a media outlet was an idea that became apparent on its own.

The beginnings were marred by technical difficulties

As for the beginnings, Tomasič said they were terrible. Namely, they had to face a whole host of technical problems. “On the 1st of March, when we started broadcasting, we were still finishing up and connecting the necessary things at six in the morning. We were a bit too quick in announcing that we would start on that date. The first six months of our existence were full of technical problems,” he explained, adding that the television station was launched with minimal resources and, of course, with technology that was not yet what it is today. “There were problems with the sound, the picture; the programme kept being cut off. We persevered, and today we have large studios, professional cameras, and more qualified technicians.”

Ignorance and disqualification were followed by attacks

From the beginning, the media outlet was ignored, as people claimed it was going to be just a meaningless television station or just some media project. “But since we refused to go under, mockery soon followed. So, we went through a phase of ignorance and disqualification, and then they started attacking us. This happened because we persevered, we started gaining viewers,” he recalled, adding that the media outlet was doing things that other media outlets were not. It broadcast National Assembly sessions that the national broadcaster did not, and it reported on press conferences that others did not. In this way, credibility was built up, which means that today, Nova24TV is one very influential media outlet. “Outside of the biggest commercial broadcaster and the national broadcaster, we are the most influential. You can see that in terms of viewership. I believe we are one of the few, if not the only, television in the world that the ruling coalition regularly deals with in the National Assembly. We are constantly being mentioned as a problem, rather than as a quality addition, in the media space.”

He is not afraid of Golob’s threats

Regarding Robert Golob‘s threats about shutting down Nova24TV, Tomašič said he was not afraid of them. “People like Robert Golob, who are very narcissistic and self-important, don’t like to hear the truth. They want to hear how good they are, and how well they are doing. But we tell it like it is. We say that he made promises to many people (to judges, prosecutors, to the public about a health reform, etc.). He also promised to destroy Nova24TV, but he will not do it. Certainly not.” Now, Tomašič said, the ruling coalition is trying to destroy the television station by not allocating it any money and by having state-owned companies terminate their contracts with it. “If they were to come after us by force, we have so many people and viewers standing behind us, supporting us, that it would blow their minds.”

A new entertainment programme is coming in September

When asked how Nova24TV would develop going forward, Tomašič replied that the first plan, after a dictatorial and autocratic government with no sense of media freedom took over the reins, was to survive. “We have passed through the first, the worst wave, through this pressure. Now we have stabilised the business of the whole media empire, which includes the web portal, the magazine ‘Demokracija’ (Democracy) and the bookstore,” he said, predicting that the next step is coming soon. In around 14 days, two new shows are coming on air – one more economic-focused, explaining the basics of economics, finance and money, and the other dealing with topics that are attractive and are not covered by the media, even though they are important (artificial intelligence, energy, events from abroad). Both of the shows will also often host experts. “We will launch a new entertainment programme in September, if everything goes well financially, because the first and second programmes are more of news programmes,” Tomašič also announced.

To conclude, he also invited the viewers to attend the event that marked the television’s birthday. A celebration was held on Saturday, the 4th of March, in Stična, where a few musical guests appeared, and the history of Nova24TV was presented. “Most of all, we will be socialising with our supporters,” Tomašič added. He also invited people to come even if they could not afford the ticket, ensuring that they would make sure that everyone could come inside. Tomasič said that Nova24TV understands the plight of people under this government. “We welcome all those who love us and support us,” he said, recalling that the broadcaster had already been involved in charity work before. “People are helping us, so we felt that we should help others, too. That evening we collected over 20,000 euros for Karitas, which distributed the money to those in need. It is also an indication of the large number of people who follow and support us that we raised over 20 thousand euros in an hour and a half,” he concluded.

Sara Kovač

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