THE GENERAL Director of public broadcaster Slovak Television, Štefan Nižňanský, banned the broadcast of an investigative report about a social company in Bardejov which is receiving subsidies from the Labour Ministry, the Sme daily reported.
The report depicted an apparently non-functioning company which exists only “officially”. On the morning of October 5 the editor of the investigative news department and STV lawyers had approved the report's broadcast, but that afternoon Nižňanský saw it and banned it from the evening broadcast schedule. He said that the news department had failed to finish the story on time.
“Some reporters are processing topics and reports superficially, unprofessionally, at the very last moment and with a tabloid undertone through which they endanger the broadcast; in many cases, they even damage STV economically,” Sme quoted Nižňanský as saying.
The head of the STV Council, Martin Kákoš, said that it was a failure by the head of the editorial department who, according to the broadcaster’s internal rules, is required to make sure reports are ready for review one week before they are due to be broadcast. Sme wrote that the STV Council will now analyse the investigative report.
“It’s a typical example of censorship,” Tomáš Galbavý, a member of the parliamentary committee for media from the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), told Sme. “The director of STV is a servile flunky.”