Združenje novinarjev in publicistov
English texts
Pismo ZNP mednarodni javnosti o primeru Meško natisni

Dear Sir,  Madam,

I would like to inform you about the case of Borut Meško, who is the editor-in-chief of the STA (Slovenian Press Agency) and against whom the Director of the STA Bojan Veselinovič began the process of his dismissal and termination of the contract of employment. The real reason (which Veselinovič naturally denies) is that Meško is not »politically compatible« with media-policy aspirations of the current Slovenian government.


Illegal bashing of journalist Silvester Šurla natisni

Združenje novinarjev in publicistov (ZNP – the Association of Journalists and Commentators) has warned that the decision taken by the Management Board of the Delo publishing company on the reassignment of Editor-in-Chief Silvester Šurla from the editorial board of Mag magazine to the editorial board of the free weekly Total tedna was an obvious and unquestionable breach of the journalist's rights and employment legislation, under which the employer is equired to notify and consult the editorial board before reassigning an employee (The Declaration of Rights and Obligations of Journalists, aka the Munich Charter). In addition, the employer is legally bound to offer the journalist a new employment contract, as the other weekly has a different programme framework. The employer's actions in this case constitute a blatant breach of the Media Act.

The ZNP further warns that this is a case of illegal bashing of the journalist who was unwilling to act unprofessionally and unfairly towards his magazine's readership, for which reason he had first lost the position of Editor-in-Chief and was later swiftly and contravening legislation and international declarations on journalists' rights reassigned to another editorial board.

The ZNP warns that the Munich Charter under which all journalists and editors are obliged to respect the truth and the right of the public to learn the truth, regardless of the consequences for themselves, and the duty to defend freedom of information, opinion and criticism. Declaration further warns that the responsibility of the journalist to the public outweighs the responsibility to the employer or authorities.

The unfair attitude towards the successful editor and disrespectful contempt towards him as a journalist, which has been shown by the new editor Veso Stojanov and the deputy editor Mateja Babič by failing to protect his fundamental rights is a bad omen for the entire press

The Media Act explicitly states that: "Journalists may not have their employment terminated, a contracted concluded with them cancelled, their pay reduced, their status in the editorial board changed or their position worsened in any other manner for reason of the expression of opinions and standpoints in accordance with the programme concept and the rules, criteria and standards of the profession."

The ZNP also stresses that data on higher sales and circulation undoubtedly testify to the success of Silvester Šurla and his esteem in the public eye. Delo Management Board has not stated where or how Mr Šurla allegedly acted in disagreement with Mag's programme concept or contrary to the code of professionalism, which could be the only just reason for reassignment.

In conclusion, the ZNP would like to draw the attention to a provision of the Annex to the Collective Agreement for Professional Journalists on the Rights of Journalists (the Munich Charter), which stipulates that "the editorial board shall be informed of any important decision that could affect the life of the company." Before reaching a final decision on any measure pertaining to the composition of the editorial board (employment, redundancies, reassignments or promotion), the employer is bound to at least consult the editorial board. In the case of Mr Šurla's reassignment, the editorial board failed to issue a single notice or to discuss the issue with anyone.

ZNP – The Association of Journalists and Commentators

Managing Board:
Peter Jančič, Igor Kršinar, Matej Makarovič, Borut Meško, Vladimir Vodušek


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© 2007 Združenje novinarjev in publicistov.
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