Hot Topic - Media in Slovakia
Grief peppered with outrage has come to Slovakia after police discovered the bodies of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, murdered by gunshot, this past Sunday. He had worked for online news portal Aktuality.sk for three years. He was 27 years old. Investigations are on-going, few conclusions drawn except that both had been dead for several days. A concerned family member asked police to investigate after not hearing from the couple.
Slovakia and the Czech Republic are neighbors. Languages are similar. They were, indeed, the same country until 1993, peacefully dissolved. Both members of the European Union. TV land in the two countries is also shared. Czech channels appear on Slovak cable and satellite services and vice versa. A Czech court decision earlier this month signaled, somewhat, a separation.
Several Slovak broadcasters are asking for exemptions to music quota rules taking effect at the first of the year. Privately owned broadcasters will be required to inject 20% Slovak music into radio formats in 2016 and 25% in 2017. Additionally, 20% must be new music, none more than five years old. Dumping in the all-night shows is not allowed. Slovak music quotas for public broadcaster RTVS are higher.
For commercial broadcasters rules establishing quotas for music performed in the national language and produced locally always raise a certain level of discomfort. With streaming services offering music fans an alternative to traditional broadcast radio music quotas are seen as audience threatening. But in many national markets music quotas find support from local artists and producers who fear threats to their livelihoods. Cultural agencies and government ministries tend to dismiss the former and support the latter.
National music quotes for radio channels have long been contentious, particularly from private commercial broadcasters. Where a certain percentage of music played is set aside considerable support for the legal remedy comes from the national music business. A 20% domestic music quota for radio enforceable next year proposed by the Slovak Culture Ministry was subject of an on-air protest by one broadcaster.
Slovak public broadcaster RTVS has been sanctioned by its Broadcasting Council for being insufficiently “objective” in reporting events surrounding the annexation of Ukrainian territory. The Broadcasting Council accepted a complaint over a March 1st evening TV news report about Russian Federation troops seizing the Crimea. RTVS news director Lukas Dika refrained from comment until the official text is received.
Paywalls have proven popular with online publishers, most certainly those once based on print publications. Highly touted has been the Piano Media paywall and distribution system that developed in Slovakia and spread to several national markets. Nearly four years after launch – and amble venture financing – Piano Media seems to have hit a bump in the road.
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