More dismissals at STV public broadcaster

RADIM Hreha, the new director of the public station Slovenská Televízia (STV), has sacked another of the station's leading journalists. Following the dismissal of Roland Kyška, the former head of the STV news department, Hreha also recalled Eugen Korda, an experienced journalist who ran the "Reportéri" investigative news show for STV.

Kyška and Korda both said that in firing them Hreha had said he was acting under "political pressure".

Korda said he had decided to leave STV, rather than accept Hreha’s offer of reassignment, because he could not imagine working for an institution whose boss was unable to resist political pressure. In addition to Korda, Reportéri editor Milan Žitný also announced his departure from STV.

Hreha himself issued a strenuous denial of the charges, and said that Korda had been fired for lack of professionalism.

According to the Sme daily, Branislav Záhradník, the broadcaster's former interim director, and STV spokesman Peter Kavecký are also preparing to leave the station.

"If it turns out that personnel policy at STV is not being decided in the director's office but rather in party headquarters, I see it as the end of the independence of public media in Slovakia," said the head of the STV Council, Miroslav Kollár.

The deputy chairman of the ruling Smer party, Dušan Čaplovič, as well as Viliam Veteška of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, said they did not believe that Hreha had blamed the dismissals on political pressures.

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