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Fico phones in orders to STV public broadcaster

PM ROBERT Fico called the editor-in-chief of the public broadcaster STV to tell him how STV should report on his recent working visit to Italy, the Sme daily wrote.

Before the main STV news program on October 3, Fico’s spokeswoman, Silvia Glendová, telephoned STV editor Roland Kyška, criticizing the station for ignoring the PM’s trip because the station did not send a crew to Italy to cover the story.

“When I tried to explain to her that we were working on the story but that we had found out about it too late to send a crew with the PM, Prime Minister Fico got on the phone,” Kyška said.

“He told me that we were paid from license fees [from the public] and that as a public television we have to report on issues such as working visits. He said that we should put together some photos and manage it somehow, and later they demanded that we at least broadcast a live telephone interview [with Fico],” Kyška said.

Such calls are not considered standard practice.

The head of the Slovak journalists’ union, Zuzana Krútka, thinks that politicians should not be calling editors about news stories.

“Interference [with news stories] by anyone, not just politicians, is unjustified,” she said.

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