Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

RTVS short news not to cite other media and inform about opposition proposals

The new rules introduce several controversial rules for the radio short news coverage. The opposition is calling for the dismissal of their author.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

A document outlining the new internal rules for the short news reports of the radio department of the public-service RTVS, authored by the head of the radio news desk, Petra Stano Maťašovská, has caused outrage amongst the opposition, which is now calling for her dismissal. Amongst the principals laid down are instructions ordering reporters not to cite other media sources and to limit the information they broadcast about the opposition and protests.

The broadcaster has confirmed the document's authenticity and said that they have reprimanded its author, the Omediach.com website reported.

What is in the document?

Read also:Former RTVS reporters sue the broadcaster

Among the 16 new rules for short news broadcasts, which were reportedly created on October 10, is one that says that when preparing stories, reporters should solely use the newswires TASR, SITA and ČTK, and original stories prepared by RTVS reporters. They should not take information from other media sources and their websites.

Moreover, reporters should avoid notifications and invitations for events whose preparation is underway, particularly the protest marches, gatherings etc. Notifications should only include the list of expected events broadcast in the morning edition of Rádiožurnál, the main news programme of Slovak Radio. Also in this case, reporters should think very carefully about the press conferences they will report.

In addition, reporters should not give information about draft laws and amendments prepared by opposition MPs before they advance to the second reading or without a response from the coalition or the respective ministry.

Read also:More RTVS reporters hand in notices

“Parliamentary practice shows that nearly none of these drafts are passed in the first reading, so their relevance is quite low,” the document reads, as quoted by Omediach.com. “These are often proposals that are unprepared, non-systemic and non-discussed, which are designed to attract public attention rather than solve the problem. They would fool rather than inform the listeners.”

RTVS: It was misinterpreted

RTVS meanwhile confirmed the authenticity of the document. Though it reprimanded Stano Maťašovská, the broadcaster stressed that it was taken out of context.

“RTVS disagrees with the interpretation of the published material which was taken out of context and doesn’t correspond with the reality of the preparation and the content of SRo’s news coverage,” its spokesperson Erika Rusnáková said, as quoted by the Denník N daily.

Read also:Is Slovakia’s free press under attack?

As she explained the published document concerns only short news coverage that has a specific character and its broadcasting time is shorter than the other news programmes. It does not allow the reporters to inform about certain events in detail.

However, it admits that some parts of the text were not phrased appropriately, which created space for their misinterpretation, Rusnáková added.

Opposition talks about censorship

The opposition deputies were outraged by the new rules, calling it normalisation of the public-service broadcaster, the propaganda of ruling parties and an effort to exclude the opposition from news coverage that is paid by everyone from their taxes, said Veronika Remišová, MP for the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), as reported by Denník N.

At the same time, the parties called for a withdrawal of the new document and the dismissal of Stano Maťašovská from her post.

Read also:Public broadcast reporters might not wear #AllForJan badges

“We consider it an absolute scandal; the normalisation of live broadcasts, the censorship and the return of communism,” said Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), as quoted by Denník N.

Former culture minister Marek Maďarič of Smer said that the document violates the public-service principles and offends the opposition, the daily wrote.

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

Foreigners in Slovakia: Will they vote in upcoming elections?

Dutch activist after 13 years in Slovakia: I am still waiting to have a mayor who will translate the website of the city of Bratislava into English.

Illustrative Stock Photo

All for Jan: The year of magical thinking in Slovakia

Orbán used Soros as a powerful container for everything he stood against. Fico borrowed the ready-made narrative.

Jaguar Land Rover will ceremonially launch operations at its €1.4 bln Nitra plant next Thursday

Local trade unions and the carmaker have agreed on a wage rise even before the official launch of production.

The new Jaguar Land Rover plant in Nitra

Canada did it, so should everybody else

The burden of proof must now shift to those who oppose legalisation of marijuana.