I greatly appreciated your coverage of our campaign, Rock volieb (Rock the Vote), in your April 23 issue ("Rock the vote campaign shoots to end young voters' apathy," Vol. 4, No. 8, April 23-May 7). However, I felt that it would be appropriate to present our point of view about some opinions presented in your article.
First, Rock the Vote is an American organization and an American campaign, not a "world program," as you wrote. I am not aware of them working in any other country. And while they have cooperated with us, allowing us to use their name if we deem it appropriate, our campaign is a separate, Slovak campaign.
Second, in response to the claim that the Rock the Vote campaign "was hammered on March 18 by the daily Slovenska republika," I must say that I was surprised at such a claim. I am also aware however, that in the article mentioned except for the fact that there would be campaigns aimed at young people, it did not contain one single piece of information corresponding to our campaign. It certainly did not mention us by name, as you seemed to imply.
This brings up an issue which gravely concerns us as our campaign begins to draw more attention from the media; the polarity which appears not only within the political climate but also within media publications. I will here reiterate that we are an absolutely non-partisan campaign, and that while our primary goal is to encourage higher participation by young people in the political process, we also intend to run a campaign which brings people together rather than dividing them.
In our campaign, and in efforts done by our foundation, we do not divide people by which newspaper they read but we try to unite them through dealing with issues that make their lives more difficult. I consider low participation of youth in elections and the need to make decisions by themselves being these kinds of issues, and it is of interest of our entire society to deal with it.
For this reason, we do not want to be associated with confrontational situations in the media that do not exist, as this would only make future confrontations more likely. And in this regard, we expect nothing less and nothing more than the highest standard of objective journalism.
21. May 1998 at 0:00