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Why the panic of the left when it comes to the media issue? Jelovac: “The avant-garde of the left-wing pole of the political spectrum has been aware of the importance of the media since the beginning of the revolution.”

Dejan Jelovac (Foto: Siol)

“The avant-garde of the left-wing pole of the political spectrum has been aware of the importance of the media since the beginning of the revolution. Not only are they the fourth branch of power, but they are also the most powerful weapon in the fight for retaining power. Weapons like this are never dropped. As a result, even the government’s announcement of a change to the media legislation has caused panic. Opinion leaders cannot come to terms with the idea of transforming a public institution from a weapon against the right-wing, into an open space for public dialogue on key issues of our coexistence,” Dejan Jelovac, Ph.D., an expert on media, and professor at the Faculty of Information studies explained the panic of the left-wing political, media and academic sphere.

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry of Culture have submitted a draft of the amendments to the media legislation for public discussion, and the announced changes have provoked considerable resistance, especially in the political structures, which were based on the legacy of the totalitarian system. Therefore, they will not agree to any reform of the media landscape, that would not allow them to preserve their monopoly – even if the changes concern such an essential thing as the financial optimization of the public broadcaster RTV, which has been operating with a loss for years, which only grows bigger. We asked an expert on the media, Dejan Jelovac, from the Faculty of Information studies, to explain this phenomenon. “Every organization, whether it is an institution, a company, or a corporation, can change. This also applies to RTV Slovenija. The only question is, what changes are necessary, make sense, and are possible under the given circumstances,” Jelovac said.

Even though Director-General of RTV, Igor Kadunc, believes that there is no other option, except shifting the financial burden on the taxpayers’ shoulders, Jelovac disagrees; namely, he believes that RTV Slovenija must also change. He believes it is important for us to tackle the problem professionally. “It is important to make sure that we are not tackling this problem in an amateur way, but rather, in accordance with the rules of the profession, which is called organizational development, or change management,” Jelovac warned.

Radical changes are needed at RTV – at the core of the business and programming foundation
He went on to tell us that in Slovenia, we must diagnose the existing situation, and based on that, we can then define further strategic orientations. This is also the only way that will bring us to the planned desired state, which we want to achieve in our country. Jelovac was reluctant to make any assumptions on “how screwed up our public institution is, organizationally, because what changes are necessary, depends on this. I strongly doubt that reorganization and financial optimization would be sufficient. In all likelihood, we would need more radical changes, such as a fundamental reform at the core of the business and programming foundation.”

The opinion leaders do not want a plural media space
Unfortunately, the representatives of the strong left-wing opposition trio of LMŠ, SD, and Levica, with their accomplices in the non-governmental organizations, academic circles, and the media of the former regime, do not want to participate in the process of finding a solution. RTV Slovenija is the strongest ideological weapon they have, and it has been their weapon since the times of the former regime. Regarding the latter, Jelovac commented that the avant-garde of the left-wing pole of the political spectrum has been aware of the importance of the media since the beginning of the revolution. Not only are they the fourth branch of power, but they are also the most powerful weapon in the fight for retaining power. Weapons like this are never dropped. This also explains why the left-wing opposition was so fiercely opposing the proposed changes to the media legislation. As a result, even the government’s announcement of a change to the media legislation has caused panic. The opinion leaders cannot come to terms with the idea of transforming a public institution from a weapon against the right-wing, into an open space for public dialogue on key issues of our coexistence,” Jelovac added.

Luka Perš