A BODY devoted to defending global press freedom, the International Press Institute (IPI), has officially launched operations in Slovakia. Founding members of the Slovak branch of the organisation, which operates in over 120 countries worldwide, met at the first regular session of IPI Slovensko general assembly in Bratislava on September 23, the SITA newswire wrote.
One of the main priorities of the Slovak branch is to generate discussion about freedom of speech in the media.
Debate earlier this year about the controversial new Press Code, during which journalists lacked a collective voice, was one of the factors which prompted the establishment of the IPI branch in Slovakia.
In the near future IPI Slovensko says it will submit the new Press Code to the Constitutional Court.
According to Eva Babitzová, a member of the managing board of IPI Slovensko and the director general of Rádio Expres, the organisation is not a response to the activity of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists.
“The syndicate is a mass organisation, whose members are journalists, publishers, editor-in-chiefs, and others,” Babitzová explained. “IPI clusters only leading personalities, who have a strong say in their media.”
Several major players in the Slovak media market, including the dailies Sme and Pravda, weeklies Týždeň and Trend, the publishing house Ringier, TV stations Markíza and Joj, radio station Rádio Expres and the SITA newswire, have shown an interest in joining.
29. Sep 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports