Call for proposals: Institutional support
Project duration: 1. 6. 2021 - 30. 4. 2024
Project budget: 90.000,00 EUR
Slovene Association of Journalists brings the journalistic community together, represents its interests and protects journalists. It promotes adherence to ethical and professional standards, offers vocational education and nurtures excellence in journalism. The association advocates a systemic environment for the safe and independent work of journalists. It promotes trust in the media and journalism in the public interest.
The association has more than 800 members. It provides them with assistance, services, and protection and represents their interests. With ten working groups they are present in all major Slovenian media. They also unite journalists regionally, including self-employed journalists and journalism students. In the coming years they want to increase the number of their members and thus improve the resilience of the journalistic community to pressures.
Nine years ago they launched the only Slovenian media festival Naprej/Forward, and five years ago they upgraded it to the year-round program of the Center for Quality Media Content, which presents media case studies from around the world. They have also been rewarding journalistic excellence with awards for outstanding achievements in journalism for 50 years. Moreover, the association co-manages the Journalists’ Ethics Council, which annually investigates more than 50 complaints from citizens. Thus, they provide mechanisms for the self-regulation of the profession. The association also maintains a close dialogue with the state, influencing the legislation in the field of media, copyright, access to public information, protection of whistleblowers, etc.
The key problem of the Slovenian media is the lack of understanding and financing to safeguard the jobs of journalists with high ethical standards and to educate members of editorial boards. There is a noticeable decline in the quality of journalistic content. The divide between journalists and their audience is widening. With the Center for Quality Media Content, the association will develop professional competencies of journalists, especially at local level, and support responsible journalism in the public interest. Increasing compliance with ethical and professional standards will be achieved by strengthening the visibility and relevance of the work of the Journalists’ Ethics Council.
Traditional media are losing the battle with online platforms. Small markets with a limited linguistic range are running out of money to fund journalism. Another cause for concern is that the sector is lagging behind in regulating copyright. The association will develop competencies and forge alliances for the successful transposition of the EU directives. They will also establish mechanisms to ensure respect for copyright and fair compensation. Journalists are exposed to threats and attacks from anonymous as well as known sources, and the response of the police and the public prosecutor's office is insufficient. The feeling of being threatened is one of the main dangers to freedom of expression. Therefore, the association will systematically monitor the attacks and develop the ability of journalists and editorial offices to respond to them.