Webinar: ‘Slovenian media under the pressure ahead of the EU Presidency’
IJP (International Journalists’ Programme) webinar, 20.5. 2021
In July Slovenia will take the helmet and have its EU Presidency term. Meanwhile Slovenia STA — the Slovenian press agency — faces the danger of collapse due to financial difficulties, public broadcaster RTV is under pressure and many journalists are attacked on Social media.
Together with a Slovenian journalist, Gasper Andrinek of public radio, VAL 202 we presented the situation in media. I focused on hate-fuel campaign, insults and discrediation by the pro-government media outlets and politicians close to ruling Slovenian party, SDS and Prime Minister, Janez Jansa.
- Pro-government media run a smear campaign
Since 2016 Slovenian media landscape changed with the establishment of multiple pro-SDS news outlets, partially with the help of investors linked to Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán.
A Hungarian media model was transferred to Slovenia.
Those media contain a lot of fake news, disinformation, slurs, targeted insults, baseless accusations and belittling of individuals mainly critics.
Evidently, influential Slovenian female journalists, academics and politicians became main target of government propaganda.
2. Systematic attacks on social media
Current Prime Minister, Janez Jansa in 2016 on Twitter addressed two female journalists as “washed-up prostitutes”
Social media specially Twitter turned into battlefield of hate-fuel comments, insults and targeted intimidations
“In Europe, you will find difficult a country that produces so much hate speech with such intensity as Slovenia,” explains media analyst, Boris Vezjak.
Use of hate speech unpunished.
Example 1: Jansa addressed two female journalists as ”washed-up prostitutes”.
Example 2: Member of SDS, Tim Felle implying targeted sexual assault against EU PM, Tanja Fajon.
3. The use of astroturfing
•What is astroturfing?
Method to create an impression of widespread grassroots support for a policy, individual, or product, where little such support exists.
Multiple online identities and fake audience are created to mislead the public into believing that the position of the astroturfer is the commonly held view.
The media team, “The Bottom Line” (Pod Črto) conducted months long research into some social media profiles.
Example: The profile was stolen from a girl from Brazil
4. Incident “Kopriva”(“a Nettle”) and attack of troll farms through my example.
On 23th of February this year the Slovenian MP, Alenka Jeraj was caught switching from her fake account to official one.
Smear campaign followed for few days against anyone who would critized the act of SDS-politician, Alenka Jeraj.
Examples of targeted assaults by the troll farms on different occasions: