01. 06. 2018 13:37
A total of 12 journalists from the public broadcaster RTVS handed in their notice on Thursday. In a video posted on social media they claimed that their departure from RTVS was a matter of professionalism and journalistic honour rather than personal disputes with the new management. According to them, the management has destroyed their work, broken up the news service team and punished them for their opinions.
Journalists' resignation triggered a wave of reactions among politicians. According to President Andrej Kiska, the reporters' notices are another piece of bad news for the quality of public-service news reporting and the result of a tense situation in the public broadcaster which is not improving but, on the contrary. He added that these journalists have contributed to the increasing public trust in the RTVS news service in the previous years. "It's unacceptable when interventions by management and politicians reduce this trust. The public-service institution doesn't belong to its director or to the party that put him there," said Kiska. RTVS has been led by Jaroslav Reznik since August last year after being elected by Parliament. Slovak President discussed the topic with Culture Minister Ľubica Laššáková (Smer-SD), who said she would meet with the RTVS director on Friday (June 1).
The opposition blames the public broadcaster management for the mass departure of newsroom editors. One of the opposition parties - the Freedom and Solidarity - in this context once again called on the RTVS management to step down.
Erika Rusnakova, a spokesperson for RTVS- which is the mother company of Radio Slovakia International-said that the management regrets the announced departure of the journalist but they respect their free decision and the news service management will try patiently to explain to them public-service values during their two-month notice period. It assured the public that the company is able to secure its smooth operation thanks to almost 3,000 staff working for RTVS.