Blog/Slovakia’s plan to reconstruct public broadcaster threats media independence in the country 

Slovakia’s plan to reconstruct public broadcaster threats media independence in the country 

By Stop Media BanMarch 15, 2024

The Slovak government attempts to gain full control over the public broadcaster in the country.

Press Release

Brussels, Belgium, 15 March 2024 – This week, the Slovak government proposed a draft bill that would revamp the country’s public broadcaster, Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS), by renaming it to Slovak Television and Radio (STaR) and replacing current members of the RTVS Council with the government-appointed figures. Journalists from the Stop Media Ban condemn the attempt of the Slovak government to turn the public broadcaster into a media outlet with full state control. 

“Slovakia’s government, led by Robert Fico, introduces a change in the country’s legislation that fully contradicts the recently adopted Media Freedom Act by the European Parliament, which aims to protect the editorial independence of media outlets in the EU from any political or economic influence. Instead, the authorities attempt to gain total power to control the main media broadcaster in Slovakia,” said President of Stop Media Ban Ludmila Belcencova. 

Earlier this week, the Stop Media Ban recognised the European Media Freedom Act as pivotal legislation to protecting the rights of journalists and media outlets to do their work without any interference from authorities and called on the Republic of Moldova to start implementing its provisions into the country’s law. 

“After Moldova made the so-called ‘democratic’ decision to close all channels critical to the government, it started dictating what to broadcast to the rest of the media. We, as journalists, are very concerned about the future of media work in Slovakia after these proposals were introduced. We don’t want to see the same trend as in Moldova throughout Europe,added Belcencova. 

“We insist on an immediate response from the European authorities to stop the dictatorship in the media. The press must be free,” concluded Belcencova. 

About Stop Media Ban 

Stop Media Ban is a non-profit organisation with the mission to stand against media censorship and fight for the freedom of the press worldwide.

To contact us, please write to:
Ludmila Belcencova

Photo: Protesters in Slovakia in front of the country’s public television and radio building. Bratislava, March 27, 2024. (Pavol Zachar/TASR via AP)