It was clear that from the first moment the chairman and then the MPs of the ruling Smer came up with the idea of changing the Press Code, that things were not going to end up well. And not just for the media.
Reviving the right of reply for politicians will not make readers' experience better, nor will it bring anyone closer to the truth. It was done out of the wrong motivation with wrong timing promising rather dubious effects.
This right makes no sense in times when politicians are spreading aphorisms of hate through social networks, stripped of any limits and any questions from the journalists.
In times when Robert Fico and Andrej Danko attack and lie about media tyranny instead of answering legitimate journalistic questions.
Why, after the murder of a journalist, are they passing a law for politicians instead of protecting journalists?
Fico's talk of enemies of the nation and the media hurricane destroying the government suggests a possible motivation for this change even for Smer voters.
Politicians have had the right to ask for correction in cases where the media publishes information that is not true.
Even though last-minute changes proposed by the opposition extracted the sharpest teeth of the law, the additional right of reply that politicians have passed for themselves, suggests the contours of the mental world of the ruling Smer party. In that world, useless laws can be changed only to send out signals for the media.
But in the democratic world journalists control politicians. With their reply, or without.
18. Sep 2019 at 15:01 | Beata Balogová