Threats, systematic smear campaigns and media concentration
The problems for press freedom continue despite pressure from international NGOs for improvements. Defamation is still criminalized and well-known politicians continue to subject media outlets to intimidatory lawsuits and often slanderous verbal attacks. Despite repeated requests from the media, there has been no modification of the “right to correction” in the 2006 Mass Media Act, under which anyone who feels offended or insulted by a newspaper article can insist on the newspaper publishing a correction in the same position as the original article. There were no physical attacks against journalists in 2019 but a car driver who was convicted of deliberately attacking a public TV reporter and cameraman in 2018 was given no more than a suspended six-month prison sentence, triggering protests by Slovenian journalists’ organizations. The SDS, a far-right nationalist party founded by oligarchs allied with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán, has stepped up its campaigns of smears and threats against journalists, both on social media and in the SDS’s own media outlets, some of which are now owned by KESMA, the foundation in charge of a network of pro-government media outlets in Hungary. The high level of media ownership concentration in Slovenia is weakening pluralism and encouraging self-censorship.
34 in 2019
22.31 in 2019