Culture Ministry looks to create ‘21st century environment’ for Slovak media

Transparency of ownership and financing among proposed overhaul of decades-old laws.

(Source: Archive of Sme)

New legislation that would overhaul Slovak media laws that have not changed for almost three decades has been put to parliament as the Culture Ministry looks to create what it calls a “21st century environment” in which local media can work freely.

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Announcing a package of proposed changes to media laws last month, Culture Minister Natália Milanová (OĽaNO) said some of Slovakia’s current laws governing media had not changed, or were barely altered, since “the times of Vladimír Mečiar”, referring to the former Slovak PM who ruled the country between 1994-98.

Media experts have welcomed the proposals, which address legislation in key areas such as media ownership transparency and standardising of regulation and guidelines for TV, radio, and online media.

“The media environment has significantly changed in the past two decades but media legislation in Slovakia has not reacted to these changes, or has done so only partly and insufficiently. A complex reform of media law is justified,” Marián Gladiš, media analyst at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, told The Slovak Spectator.

Regulation will apply to online outlets

One of the key parts of the proposals, which are currently making their way through parliament, are new laws which would apply to television and radio regardless of whether they broadcast offline or online.

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