FOCUS SHORT

Independent websites join forces

INDEPENDENT internet media launched Infosloboda, the Association of Independent Internet Media, in mid September. The aim of the association is to support transparency among local administration and municipal offices and the free exchange of opinions between citizens as the main tool for achieving independence, the SITA newswire wrote.

INDEPENDENT internet media launched Infosloboda, the Association of Independent Internet Media, in mid September. The aim of the association is to support transparency among local administration and municipal offices and the free exchange of opinions between citizens as the main tool for achieving independence, the SITA newswire wrote.

“When we are speaking about transparent self-government, we mean especially transparency in the financing of towns and villages,” Oto Pšenák from Nové Zámky, who runs the website Watson.sk, said as cited by SITA. “Independent local media play a key role in this respect and our websites are such media. We feel a need to exchange experiences and coordinate our steps in order for our work to be more effective.”

According to Juraj Smatana, another founding member of the association, an independent website is often the only means enabling people to look under “the lid” of local administrations.

“Of course, many participants of corruption networks do not like this and try to silence such websites and the free discussions occurring on them via threats, legal action and pressure,” said Smatana. “It is necessary to create a strong structure for providers of independent information against the concentrated pressure from the side of local administrations.”

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