Several reporters of the public-service broadcaster RTVS’s radio news service have apologised for a talk show involving Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, broadcast on April 11.
As they wrote, the management of the news service enabled him to discuss SNS' plans during the talk show without a political opponent present. Moreover the “inexperienced host” of RTVS' news service is not a member of the team preparing the Z Prvej Ruky (At First Hand) programme, they stressed.
“The current creators are not responsible for the abovementioned broadcast,” the open letter reads. “Their broadcasts follow the strictest journalistic criteria, and they observe the principles of objectivity, impartiality and balance.”
The reporters have also accepted the sanctions for the broadcast. At the same time, they have asked the management to prevent similar cases from repeating in the future since “it harms the reputation of broadcasts we are creating”.
“We reject any political influence on our work,” the open letter reads.
A critical host was missing
The host of the talk show was Monika Maťová, who came to RTVS shortly after the departure of several reporters critical of the new management established by the broadcaster’s new director, Jaroslav Rezník. It was the first time she hosted Z Prvej Ruky, the Omediach.com website reported.
The broadcast presented the plan of the Slovak National Party (SNS), chaired by Danko, to create a new Ministry of Sport and Tourism and its earlier agenda, the holiday vouchers. Apart from Danko, Maťová invited Marek Harbuľák, president of the Association of Tourism, who helped prepare the changes in tourism. There was no political or expert opponent included in the discussion, Omediach.com wrote.
As a result, Danko could talk about what he wanted and criticise his opponents. Moreover, Maťová did not ask any critical questions, even though the holiday vouchers have been slammed by employers who often do not know how to pay for the vouchers.
Omediach.com also wrote about other reports by Maťová, in which she has praised Danko. This includes his visit to the Czech parliament, in which she stressed how they applauded Danko after his speech.
15. Apr 2019 at 13:38 | Compiled by Spectator staff