In her address to the annual International Press Institute (IPI) world congress in Bratislava on Tuesday, September 14, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová highlighted the role of the media as a pillar of democracy in society. Three days of the four-day congress took place in Vienna, with Bratislava, for the first time ever, hosting the event on its fourth day. The gathering addressed current developments in the media and freedom of speech.
During her speech, the Slovak premier referred back to the country’s communist past, and the absence then of freedom of speech. As regards the working environment in which Slovak journalists are currently active, Radičová noted that they often face pressure and are concerned about possible lawsuits and penalties over the information that they report. Such legal action may have a destructive effect not only on them but also on the media in which they work, said the prime minister.
She stressed that laws governing the media will soon be subject to public and expert discussion, with the Slovak Parliament having the final say. “Then the media will have a better chance to criticise me,” she said with a smile, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Radičová also urged journalists to be responsible, moral and fair in their work; she said she recognised that it isn’t always easy to strike a balance between commercial and public interests.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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15. Sep 2010 at 10:00