Proposed dismissal of the General Director of RTV SLO sparks concerns over independence of the Slovenian public broadcaster

Wednesday 28 October 2020

In statement released today, the global community of media and entertainment unions affiliated to UNI Global Union expresses its concern with the latest developments at RTV SLO and the proposal to dismiss its General Director, Igor Kadunc. The proponents claim that Kadunc significantly weakened and financially depleted the broadcaster.

After the legislative initiative by the Slovenian government in July to drastically reduce the financing of the public broadcaster, the initiative to remove the General Director is another attempt to suppress unbiased and independent programming and to silence critique of government policies.

Public service broadcasters need to receive appropriate and sustainable funding to allow them to carry out their public service mission with a high degree of professionalism and independence. RTV SLO is not properly funded and attacks on its financial performance are missing the point. The dysfunction that needs to be addressed is the systematic under-funding of the public broadcaster.

UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Röthig said: “We call on the Slovenian authorities to stop the attacks on the independence of public media and to ensure the financial autonomy and stability of RTV SLO.”

Public broadcasters play a leading role in contributing to media pluralism by providing high quality, impartial and independent news and information and a diversity of programming. Impartial, ethical, and investigative journalism, the protection of journalists and media workers and unrestricted access to information sources are prerequisites for this work. It also requires governments and public broadcasters to guarantee the independence of all media professionals, especially of the editors, exercising their profession. The initiative to dismiss the General Director at this moment in time is a political move designed to undermine the editorial independence of RTV SLO.

William Maunier, European President of UNI Europa’s media, entertainment & arts sector said: “We stand with our Slovenian colleagues at RTV SLO and all media professionals that are protesting and raise their voice to defend media pluralism. We are in solidarity with our trade union colleagues of GLOSA and SKUU RTV Slovenija, who a fighting for the independence of public broadcasting.

Download the full statement here.

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