Prime Minister Robert Fico announced in a letter this morning that he will no longer talk to four specific media outlets: Markiza TV, the newspapers Dennik N and Sme, and the online news portal Aktuality.
He said he respects the legal obligation of the government to provide the media with information about its activities. But, he said, the purpose of this obligation is to guarantee truthful, comprehensive and timely information to the public. He then adds: “TV Markíza, Denník N, Sme daily and Aktuality web portal have not fulfilled the obligation to truthfully, comprehensively and timely inform the public about the activities of public authorities, especially the Slovak government and its chairman, since the first hours of the establishment of the Slovak government. They are media that openly display hostile political attitudes based primarily on the publication of false, incomplete information or on concealment of information.”
“As long as the cited media do not start fulfilling their legal obligations, the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic R. Fico will cut off any communication with them,“ the statement says.
It does not mention whether the other members of the cabinet will join this boycott.
Before this morning’s announcement, journalism students of Comenius University started a silent protest in front of the government office. They call on Prime Minister Robert Fico to publicly apologize and reevaluate his rhetoric and attitude towards journalists.