Slovenia: Večer’s relocation would harm journalists’ credibility and independence
The owners of the Slovene daily Večer decided to move the media’s newsroom in Maribor, to another building, owned by the current mayor of Maribor Saša Arsenović. The relocation could jeopardize the newspaper’s autonomy. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands by the Večer journalists and calls on the owners of the media outlet to abandon the relocation of the newsroom.
The decision to move the newsroom was announced by Večer on 13 November 2023. The company that owns the newspaper Večer Mediji (Večer Media), led by director Miha Klančar, pointed out that the relocation to Galerija Gosposka would allow journalists to stay in Maribor’s city center, while being at the same time “cost-effective” for the company.
Backed by the Slovene Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovenian Journalists (SNS), Večer’s journalists firmly believe that the relocation of the newsroom to a premise, owned by the current holder of political power, is absolutely unacceptable. Journalists will express their disapproval today 21 November 2023 at 4pm, with a protest in front of Večer’s headquarters. The EFJ’s President Maja Sever also will attend the protest.
#Slovenia 🇸🇮 #support to the journalists' protest because the management and owners want to move them to the building of the mayor of Maribor. I fully support the position of the editors and Večer's associations that this is an attack on journalistic autonomy and credibility. pic.twitter.com/oYlUeMI7wN
— Maja Sever (@SeverMaja) November 17, 2023
“We believe that the relocation is doubly negative. Firstly, our building is a crucial part of the identity of the media, which remained credible, professional and trustworthy despite the tough conditions on the media market. Secondly, because the mayor owns the new premises: we believe that when making decisions of this type, regardless of who is or will be the mayor, the owner of Večer should consider broader consequences of this move, rather than looking primarily at its possible financial benefits,”Večer’s journalists stated in the article.
As stated by DNS, in case of relocation, professional and independent journalists would be exposed to doubts about their credibility:
“We stand with them and appeal to the owners of the media outlet to abandon the relocation. Otherwise, they will not only harm the reputation of the media house but also seriously and irreparably damage the autonomy, independence, and credibility of Večer’s journalists.”