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Media watchdog penalises broadcasters for campaign violations

The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (RRTV), Slovakia's media watchdog commissioned to enforce compliance with media-related provisions in election laws, fined TV Markíza 1 million Slovak crowns on May 18. The Council also ordered Markíza to broadcast a notice of the violation before its prime time news three times in audio and visual form.

The fine is an increase over a smaller fine levied on May 11, as the RRTV claims Markíza did not broadcast a report about the violation as was required. The watchdog found Markíza violating the law twice: during its May 6 prime time news reporting and its "That's How it is in Slovakia" May 9 program. Both cases involved political promotion in favor of the ruling coalition candidate Rudolf Schuster.

The watchdog also fined the taxpayer-driven Slovak Television 500,000 crowns and ordered the station to broadcast a similar notice of violation. In its program "What was left out from the Black Box" on May 15, STV violated provisions of the law on hidden advertisements, the council ruled.

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