BBC On Slovenian Media

I like to think that even a not-so-regular visitor to this puny blog can get a general picture of the way things are in Slovenia. At the very least, you can see how I see things over here, but if you take the time to read the comments and follow the links, I would venture to say that you get a very comprehensive view of the state of affairs. And as the debate has recently focused on media, the following story by the Beebs might come in handy in understanding what had happened.

In this picture: Blaž Zgaga of Večer daily. Click image to play

The piece is a bit outdated and does not cover the rather recent events at Mag magazine, where the whole thing backfired into government’s face. But… If we neglect the fact that Anže Logar, the head of the Governmental Communication Office barely speaks English (the man holds an MSc, for crying out loud!), I would like to point out the absurdity of his answer that “…journalists are free to ask any question they like” and that is proof enough that there’s no pressure.

I mean – WTF??? Did we actually sink so deep that the government boasts that Slovenian journalists ask questions? Would the gov’t rather they didn’t? I mean, it’s like boasting with compulsory primary education or electricity. It’s kind of entry level standard these days..

So – yes. Slovenian journalists can ask questions they like. But that doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t distinguish between right and wrong questions. Or, in government-speak, between right and left questions. It shouldn’t, but it does. And that’s one way to apply pressure.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

18 thoughts on “BBC On Slovenian Media”

  1. If you control the media, you control everything, eh?
    Who controls them?
    Those who advertise?
    Who are the biggest advertisers?
    State-owned companies?

    questions, questions

  2. The BBC, for all its faults (and it has many), is still one of the few things which still makes me proud to be British.

    Nonetheless it hasn’t itself been free of Government intervention and “influence”.

  3. I’m also a Brit. A long. long time ago I shared Pengovsky’s view. Up until recently I shared Adriaan’s view. Now I can barely watch the news on the BBC at all. Ever since it got a bloody nose over the Andrew Gilligan / Dodgy Dossier / David Kelly affair the BBC has been a shadow of its former self. It may be caution, poitical interference or a combination. Its OK on domestic politics and issues but where the wider world is concerned it just toes the line i.e no criticism of British, American or Israeli foreign policy and full on support for The War Against Terror (TWAT). Real investigative journalism doesn’t seem to be allowed any more. It used to be a bastion of independent news – now its just another part of the post 911 propaganda machine.

  4. Obviously, there’s that… I think there isn’t a mainstream media that didn’t fall in line after 9/11. It may take a generation for media to shake the ghost of the aptly name “twat”. But they will shake it. And looking from the outside the BBC seems to be heading in the right direction. But the lesson we all learned is that nothing can be taken for granted.

  5. I’m not a government apologist, but I’m suprised by the level of attention this story gets in the foreign media. As if Slovenia was an unique case in the world…

    Every “power system” that ever existed had its right and wrong journalists. The people who believe in “free”, “independent” and “objective” press are the same people who usually apply those adjectives to people (politicians, judiciary…) whose particular ideology they share.

    The petition of the journalist should be taken as a statement of fact, not as a proposal for change. There is no alternative!

    I think we’ll do just fine as long as we have Pengovsky’s blog. But let’s face it – even he is under tremendous influence of Hugh Hefner…

  6. @Plavtrg: You make many good points, most of which I agree with. However I should have pointed out that my appreciation of “Auntie” was not just about her news division but about all her many facets.

    Certainly the old girl took a mighty (unjustified?) hit over Gilligan and is only slowly re-finding her feet, but nonetheless I still feel VERY affectionate towards her.

    The world would be a MUCH poorer place without her.

    Now back to Slovenia!

  7. @ Adriaan – I completely agree.

    As far “Now back to Slovenia” – if only I could – I have to wait another 3 months before my next trip. Roll on.

  8. @abaris: I freely admit by bias in favour of HH 😆
    I think this story is echoing on the international scene for two main reasons: the presidency (obviously) and the fact that Slovenian democratic track record is rather short. Which means that – however hypocritic this may sound – Slovenia and its governments (note the plural) must be better and stricter in terms of democratic standards than the “established” democracies. One must first abide by the rules in order to break them. And Slovenia broke quite a few – from The Erased onwards.

    @Adriaan: Very nicely put!

    @playtrg: That’s only 80-or-so posts away 😉

  9. @Plavtrg: I’ve got the same amount of time to wait myself!

    @Mr P: I look forward to those 80 posts (especially the ones on Fridays), if you can find the time.

  10. Two and a half weeks to go until the return of Kasteelbeer at Pengovsky HQ. 😛 And maybe there will be another guest post or two inbetween…

  11. Well you guys do drop a comment when you’re in the country… real world beats the virtual one anytime, hand down… when it comes to political debates as well 😀

    Ljubljana, summertime, riverside, evening, lights on Ljubljanica, a drink and good company.

    Aaaaahhh… oukidouk, back to work :mrgreen:

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