Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

EDITORIAL

Picture of Dorian Gray

PEOPLE who cannot be intoxicated by PR-pieces masked as journalism and aim for news that shows the true reflection of political Dorian Grays in the mirror, usually make well-informed decisions in their support for or opposition to politicians, public figures or even products.

PEOPLE who cannot be intoxicated by PR-pieces masked as journalism and aim for news that shows the true reflection of political Dorian Grays in the mirror, usually make well-informed decisions in their support for or opposition to politicians, public figures or even products.

Independent media indeed empowers people to make such decisions, while media in the hands of those who see it only as an investment into their own influence do irreparable harm not only to the credibility of media, but also the democratic vigour of the society.

It is easiest to strip people of their power amid illusions. In the huge volume of available information, often short tit-bits designed to feed the click-count on the internet are substituted for news items that tell stories of corruption, political arrogance, amateurism, cronyism and corporate greed.

There are still those who live in the myth that governments will take care of their information needs and politicians would explain all they need to know, regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

There are few media which actually still look at journalism as a public service and are able to efficiently play this role in Slovakia. The Sme daily is one of such media.

The fact that Petit Press, the more than two decade old publishing house, has made it to the shopping list of the financial group Penta assisted by the SITA newswire, is a reason for concern not only for those who trust and subscribe to Sme (or just read it for free online) but also for those who passionately criticise it, who like speculating whether the reporters are truly free or someone is pulling their strings.

The shopping drive of financial groups, who have not given much reason for the public to believe that they buy newspapers and television stations to support independent public debate and making people well-informed, should be a general concern.

Those who indifferently shake their shoulders and attribute the shift to a market-driven economy or argue that it does not really matter because journalists always serve someone anyway, are terribly wrong, and one hopes it is not too late before they realise that the blogs and social sites they feverishly follow to collect crumbs of stories simply cannot substitute newspapers like Sme.

Some people immaturely commented on the social sites about Penta’s march to buy Petit Press by suggesting that Sme perhaps deserves it, failing to understand that the story of oligarchs, who emerged from a culture hardly compatible with social responsibility, buying media in the central European region is not going to be a story with a happy end.

Already on October 8 SITA used its own news portal to publish a statement by representatives of SITA and Penta, in which they claim that in case of the acquisition of the 50-percent package in Petit Press, they would guarantee free and independent work for reporters of the publishing house.

However, the shopping oligarchs fail to understand that simply by attaching their name to media they cause more damage than even the financial pressure that publishing houses face these days.

Anyone planning to buy media should take words such as integrity, social responsibility and transparency more seriously from the start. Journalists and some of their readers tend to have a pretty good memory.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Institutions can be quickly destroyed, but they are hard to build

Head of the To Dá Rozum intiative, Renáta Hall, talks about the impacts of a dispute between the academy of sciences and the Education Ministry.

Renáta Hall

Spectacular Slovakia #3: Unexpected hiking (Enjoy Bratislava's greenery) Audio

In Slovakia, you can hike in the capital city. Listen to the latest episode of our travel podcast to find out more.

The Financial Administration’s head resigns from post

František Imrecze says his decision was spontaneous.

František Imrecze

People will gather to support imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker

The open letter in support of Sentsov has been signed by more than 2,800 people.

People hold posters to support Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is currently on hunger strike in a Russian jail to demand the release of the other Ukrainian hostages taken by the Kremlin, in front of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kiev on August 21, 2018.