Slovenia: cuts at the expense of quality

Slovenia's small media landscape is characterised by a high concentration of ownership. In recent years the process of privatising Slovenia's daily papers which began after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia has been completed.

A newspaper reader in Piran. (Flickr, Greta Hughson, CC BY-NC 2.0)
A newspaper reader in Piran. (Flickr, Greta Hughson, CC BY-NC 2.0)
The situation of the freelance journalists working for the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija has improved in recent years: most of them have now been hired permanently after years of forced self-employment due to austerity measures at the broadcaster. But at the major daily newspapers, above all Delo and Večer, the pressure to cut costs has led to many redundancies. The lack of transparency regarding sales and acquisitions has also caused great uncertainty among employees.

The leading dailies are still seeing a steady decrease in circulation numbers. The tabloid Slovenske novice, which belongs to the Delo group, has however bucked the trend, and now sells twice as many copies as the country’s largest serious daily, Delo. At the same time, opinion-forming newspapers like Delo, Dnevnik and Večer have tried to attract new readers with online versions. Readers now have to pay for access to most of the journalistic content on these websites. But many of those who were previously able to access the content for free have failed to subscribe.

Slovenia's TV segment consists of the state-run broadcaster RTV and a number of private channels. On 1 March 2016 a new TV channel called Nova24 TV and its corresponding website were launched. Its founders include former head of government turned opposition politician Janez Janša as well as numerous influential members of his conservative SDS party. The Hungarian media company Ripost, which purportedly has close ties to the Fidesz party and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is now a co-owner of Nova24TV.

The channel broadcasts informational programmes only and its website also focuses on political current affairs. According to its director, Boris Tomašič, the media company is conservative but has no ties to any particular party.

Despite the large number of private radio stations that have been founded since Slovenia gained independence, the two public stations Val 202 and Ra SLO1 are still the most popular. At times as many as 90 stations were on air but many of the small, local stations have now been taken over by the larger radio networks that broacast nationwide.

Press Freedom Index (Reporters Without Borders):
Rank 32 (2018)

Last updated: May 2018
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