Slovenia: Cuts at the expense of quality

Slovenia's small media landscape is characterised by a high concentration of ownership. In the last two years the process of privatising Slovenia's daily papers which began after the break-up of 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 lack of transparency over the sales of Slovenian print media to new owners caused much anxiety about the future amongst their staff. Over the last two years a number of journalists have lost their jobs at major daily newspapers, in particular Delo and also Večer, as a result of cost-cutting measures. Many journalists fear further cuts at the expense of investigative and quality journalism. Another problem is that journalists are being forced to work on a freelance basis, where they are paid less by print media, radio and television broadcasters and also have no social insurance.

Slovenia's major national dailies did not emerge from the economic crisis unscathed. For some years now their sales have been decreasing. 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.

The Ministry of Culture has presented a strategy for developing Slovenia's media until 2024 aimed at improving their overall situation. The journalists' union, however, rejects the strategy in its current form, describing it as an "inconsistent mixture of strategic goals, systemic and legislative changes and media policy measures."

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 online portal 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 channel broadcasts informational programmes only and its website also focuses on political current affairs. According to director Boris Tomašič the media company that runs the channel 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 Rating:
Reporters Without Borders: 37th place (2017)
Freedom House: 33rd place - status: free(2016)

Updated: May 2017
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