Slovenia: cuts at the expense of quality

Media concentration and cost-cutting strategies are reshaping Slovenia's small media landscape.

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.

To cushion the impact of the decline in sales and cut costs there are plans to merge the two dailies Dnevnik and Večer. The cartel authority gave the green light for the move in summer 2019. However, at this point in time it is not clear whether the merger will actually take place. The business newspaper Finance reported in February 2020 that the negotiations between Dnevnik and Večer had failed, but officially the project has not yet been buried. The employees of the two newspapers fear that if the project does go ahead there will be further redundancies.

Ties with Viktor Orbán

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 a matching website were launched which mainly broadcast informational and political current affairs programmes.

Its founders include influential members and supporters of Prime Minister Janez Janša’s conservative SDS party. The Hungarian media company Ripost, as well as two other companies with close ties to the Fidesz party and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, are now co-owners of Nova24TV. The SDS has been accused of violating the rules on campaign funding because of its media connections with Hungary.

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.

World Press Freedom Index (Reporters Without Borders):
Rank 32 (2020)

Last updated: April 2020

Media search

Media from Slovenia at euro|topics

Media search