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RTVS punished for criticising people awarded by Gašparovič

THE PUBLIC-service Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) was fined for broadcasting a report about personalities that were awarded by former president Ivan Gašparovič, saying that many of them have dubious past. The broadcaster now has to publish the announcement about violating the law for three consecutive days, the Sme daily reported in its August 28 issue.

THE PUBLIC-service Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) was fined for broadcasting a report about personalities that were awarded by former president Ivan Gašparovič, saying that many of them have dubious past. The broadcaster now has to publish the announcement about violating the law for three consecutive days, the Sme daily reported in its August 28 issue.

“Some personalities were called people with a dubious past in the report,” said Miloš Mistrík, head of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (RVR) which is tasked with monitoring the broadcasting, as quoted by Sme. “The council assumed this was a not very objective statement.”

The report pointed to, for example, former member of the border guard Ondrej Šedivý “who is responsible for several deadly incidents”; President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev who is described as dictator; professor Jaroslav Chovanec suspected of sexual harassment of students; Tibor Bártfay, maker of the Klement Gottwald sculpture; actor Eva Kristínová who regularly appears at events organised by extremists; and writer Jozef Bob, author of books questioned by historians, the oMediach.com website reported.

Though the Presidential Office was offered space to comment on the report, the RVR decided that the broadcaster violated the part of the law talking about objectivity and impartiality, and about the duty to separate opinions and commentaries from news information.

The recommendation of the experts from the Council of the RVR, however, reads that the council should stop the proceeding against RTVS, as reported by oMediach.com.

RTVS says it wants to appeal the decision. According to the broadcaster, the report was ethical, professional and objective, as reported by Sme.

Source: Sme, oMediach.com

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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