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Public broadcast reporters might not wear #AllForJan badges

Some representatives of the broadcaster allegedly consider them political.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: SITA)

Reporters of the public-service broadcaster RTVS will probably not wear #AllForJan badges that symbolise the sense of belonging and sympathy with the families of murdered investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.

Head of the news desk Vahram Chuguryan reportedly recommended the reporters working for the TV section do not wear the badges during the broadcast. Until now, there was no problem with that, the Aktuality.sk news website wrote.

Responding to the recommendation, several RTVS reporters have changed their profile pictures on Facebook, wearing the badges.

Ban or recommendation?

RTVS admits that wearing the badges, jewelery and various accessories was one of the topics discussed at the staff meeting. However, it stressed that it only recommended reporters do not wear #AllForJan badges. Reporters are not banned from wearing the badges.

“The law and respective internal regulations set a certain framework for the public-service institution,” Stanislav Čačko, PR manager of RTVS, told Aktuality.sk, adding that all reporters should read the respective documents and observe them.

However, a member of the news team told the website that Chuguryan clearly banned them from wearing the badges.

“He described it as a political initiative,” the team member, who did not want to be named, told Aktuality.sk, adding he did not change his mind even after the reporters present tried to explain to him it has nothing to do with the For a Decent Slovakia initiative.

The website has the information that wearing the badges was approved at a meeting attended by the broadcaster’s head, Jaroslav Rezník.

Badges used by conspirators

Peter Bárdy, editor-in-chief of Aktuality.sk, for which Kuciak was writing, considers the situation concerning the apolitical badges with the #AllForJan hashtag strange.

“I fully respect the internal regulations of any institution,” he told Aktuality.sk, adding that the hashtag represents the cooperation of the media in the fight for fair society and the continuation in Kuciak’s work.

He feels sorry that this message is being turned into a problem.

“Many events that followed Ján and Martina’s murder have revealed people's characters and the values they respect,” Bárdy added.

The production and distribution of badges has already been criticised by people spreading conspiracy theories.

Former head of the news deck at RTVS, Boris Chmel, told Aktuality.sk that at the time he was in the office, the badges were considered apolitical.

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