Local Media for Democracy — country focus: Slovenia

Romana Biljak Gerjevič, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana


There is not much debate on “news deserts” in Slovenia among policymakers, industry professionals or the public. In recent years, the media reported on the crisis of local print news media,[1] pointing mostly to the lack of financial resources and political pressures.[2] However, those reports and conversations were fragmented. There was, however, debate about so-called “white spots” as “areas where there is no adequate broadband infrastructure, but at the same time operators have no market interest in building it”. The Ministry of Digital Transformation described white spots in Slovenia as “sparsely populated and remote settlements.”[3] In 2019, there were approximately 40,000 to 50,000 households in such areas[4]. White spots are scattered throughout Slovenia, however data suggest there are more of them in the eastern part of the country.[5] The lack of adequate digital infrastructure influences the accessibility of news in those areas.

There is significant economic disparity between Eastern and Western Slovenia, with the former being richer.[6] Slovenia’s urban system is characterised by a highly dispersed settlement system with “small densities of urban population, which creates a specific socio-spatial context that is very connected to the local environment and small communities. The media are adapted to the Slovenian socio-spatial context and are, in terms of the geographical distribution of content, very local and regional.”[7]

While local and regional media are somewhat legally defined[8]—local radio and television programmes serve residents of areas where no more than 10% of the Slovene population lives, while regional radio and television programmes serve residents of areas where more than 10 and not more than 50% of the population lives—community media do not have a legal definition. The Mass Media Act does however define student and non-profit radio and television programmes, a definition where some (but not all) community media can find their place. Local, regional, student and non-profit radio and television programmes are characterised as programmes of special importance, which are partially funded from the state budget.

[1] D. Kos, Slovenski tiskani mediji v vse večjih težavah. Kje so rešitve?, Siol.net, 2023, https://siol.net/novice/slovenija/slovenski-tiskani-mediji-v-vse-vecjih-tezavah-kje-so-resitve-596622.

[2] U. Zupan, Izzivi lokalnih medijev: pomanjkanje finančnih virov in politični pritiski, 24ur.com, 2022, https://www.24ur.com/novice/volitve/lokalne-volitve-2022/izzivi-lokalnih-medijev-pomanjkanje-financnih-virov-in-politicni-pritiski.html.

[3] Ministrstvo za digitalno preobrazbo, Bele lise imenujemo območja, … [Facebook post], 2023, https://www.facebook.com/digitalSLO/posts/pfbid06hknZsznHe2DeyYEiCcak3Ajif6gomqBgQ7sfEKYxH6s8aKx4WcauJNdfzFmVDvTl.

[4] P. Malovrh, Novi milijoni za “digitalno avtocesto” do belih gospodinjstev, Delo, 2019, https://www.delo.si/novice/slovenija/novi-milijoni-za-digitalno-avtocesto-do-belih-gospodinjstev/.

[5] Ministrstvo za javno upravo, Pregledovalnik belih lis, https://eprostor.gov.si/isv-test/bele_lise.html.

[6] Eurostat, Regional gross domestic product (PPS per inhabitant) by NUTS 2 regions, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/tgs00005/default/map?lang=en.

[7] M. Uršič, Online news media and local stakeholders in the urban development process – the case of renovating the Bežigrad stadium in Ljubljana, Teorija in praksa, 53/5, 2016, 1191, https://www.fdv.uni-lj.si/docs/default-source/tip/ursic_ok.pdf?sfvrsn=2.

[8] Zakon o medijih (ZMed), 2001, http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO1608.

Main findings

Granularity of infrastructure of local media – Medium risk (58%)

Slovenia is composed of more than 87% rural areas, where around 75% of the entire population lives.[1] Slovenian cities are small to medium-sized, “out of a total of 6,035 settlements, as many as 90% of them have less than 500 inhabitants and only two settlements have more than 50,000 inhabitants.”[2] Rural and suburban areas therefore often correlate.

Media that reach those communities can be divided into local and regional, while the latter usually cater to a national audience as well. Regional radio stations (such as Murski val, Radio Ptuj, Koroški radio, Štajerski val, Radio Celje, Radio Kranj, Primorski val) and regional print media (such as Gorenjski glas, Primorske novice, Vestnik, Dolenjski list, Štajerski tednik, Novi tednik) reach the biggest population. Local and regional television programmes are less developed. Generally speaking, the national network of correspondents has shrunk in all media sectors compared to a decade or two ago.[3]

In urban areas, digital only outlets, print outlets and their online versions are most common (for instance Večer and Mariborinfo.com in Maribor, Dnevnik in Ljubljana), and they also cover the political aspects of local governance. Community media are also present in bigger cities:  neighbourhood magazines (for instance the local newspaper in Ljubljana Savčan); cultural websites and print outlets (Koridor – križišča umetnosti, Outsider); student and non-profit radio stations (Radio Študent in Ljubljana, Neodvisni obalni radio (NOR) in Koper, Radio MARŠ in Maribor).

The law regulating the national public broadcaster RTV Slovenija (RTVS)[4] specifies that broadcasting from the regional centres in Maribor (second-largest city) and Koper (fifth-largest city) is part of the public service, so is broadcasting programmes for the Hungarian, Italian and Roma ethnic communities. Based on public information, the public broadcaster has 9 local correspondent locations in Slovenia.[5] However, RTVS has been experiencing financial difficulties. When measures for the financial hardship were considered in 2023 the cancellation of the regional programmes of radio and television in Koper and Maribor was also discussed.[6]

The only public press agency is the Slovenian Press Agency (STA). The agency states on its website “more than 80 journalists and other colleagues are responsible for the fulfilment of tasks, both in the Ljubljana ‘headquarters’ and in correspondent offices around Slovenia and the world.”[7] However, a representative of STA described in 2021 that a “tenth of the team has left” the agency.[8] During that time, the government led by Janez Janša suspended funding for performing the public service of STA for 312 days, which consequently left the agency financially exhausted and staff depleted.[9]

[1] Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano, Ministrica Šinko na forumu o oblikovanju prihodnosti podeželja, Gov.si, 2023, https://www.gov.si/novice/2023-09-28-ministrica-sinko-na-forumu-o-oblikovanju-prihodnosti-podezelja/.

[2] Sektor za strateški prostorski razvoj, Mesta in urbana območja v Sloveniji, Gov.si, 2023, https://www.gov.si/teme/mesta-in-urbana-obmocja-v-sloveniji/.

[3] P. Lesjak Tušek, (INTERVJU) Greta Kokot Rajković, Štajerski val: Verodostojna lokalna informacija bo preživela, Večer, 2023, https://vecer.com/v-soboto/intervju-greta-kokot-rajkovic-stajerski-val-verodostojna-lokalna-informacija-bo-prezivela-10331765.

[4] Zakon o RTV Slovenija (ZRTVS-1), Uradni list RS, št. 96/05, 109/05 – ZDavP-1B, 105/06 – odl. US, 26/09 – ZIPRS0809-B, 9/14 in 163/22http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO4461.

[5] RTV Slovenija, Televizija Slovenija, https://www.rtvslo.si/rtv/kdo-smo/televizija-slovenija.

[6] STA, Varčevanje na RTVS: bodo ukinili Panoramo, Radio Si, TV Koper in Maribor?, N1 Slovenija, 2023, https://n1info.si/novice/slovenija/svetniki-rtvs-bodo-obravnavali-poslovanje-zavod-naj-bi-leto-koncal-z-dobickom/.

[7] Slovenska tiskovna agencija, O agenciji, http://agencija.sta.si/o-agenciji.

[8] Svet delavcev STA, Zastopstvo Uredništva STA, Uredniški kolegij STA, Sindikat novinarjev STA, Pismo zaposlenih na STA vodjem EU institucij, STAagencija, 2021, https://agencija.sta.si/2938641/pismo-zaposlenih-na-sta-vodjem-eu-institucij.

[9] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Upamo, da je agonija STA končana, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, 2021, https://novinar.com/novica/upamo-da-je-agonija-sta-koncana/.

Market and reach – High risk (74%)

Assessing the economic conditions, viability and sustainability of local and community media in Slovenia is difficult, as there are no aggregate statistics publicly available, which would include (state) advertising, sales, licensing fees, circulation, subscriptions, affiliate marketing, donations, sponsorships and exclude public funding of local and community media. It is recommended that more monitoring of the local media market is done, stating “in this way, the responsibility of local media towards the public could be increased, risks to media existence and autonomy could be more easily identified, and knowledge and strategies for sustainable and autonomous local media could be provided.”[1]

Local and community media outlets in Slovenia are “vulnerable to external influences and changes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a lack of diversity in sources of funding”,[2] the report also showed, stating many local media outlets rely on one source of revenue. The pandemic influenced the print sector specifically, as newsstands and kiosks were closed and many of them never reopened. Representatives of Primorske novice and Dnevnik for instance discussed difficulties in selling their newspaper in 2023, stating a drop in newspaper circulation is making it more difficult to find newspaper delivery men; combined with the rising costs of paper and fuel their activity is less and less economically sustainable.[3] This has led Primorske novice to reduce its publication frequency in 2024.[4] 

The media legislation allocates a certain amount of state funding for the development of programme content of radio and television programmes with the status of local, regional, student or non-profit programmes. The funds are accessible in the form of a yearly public tender, published by the Ministry of Culture.

The figures indicate the value of available funds has been more or less stagnating. In 2023, the approximate value of available funds on the main public tender was 2.9 million euro, from which 2.1 million was available for the area of co-financing programme content of radio and television programmes with local, regional, student or non-profit status, also known as “area B”.[5] In 2022, the approximate value was 3.1 million euro, of which 2.25 million was available for area B.[6] In 2021 and 2020, the approximate value was 2.67 million euro, of which 2.07 million was available for area B.[7] However, systematic long-term funding that would enable employment, guarantee independence from political and market pressures and help establish functionality of both community and local/regional media in the long run is needed.  

The availability of sources to fund innovation presents a high risk, as there are no specific funding mechanisms for innovation in place. The originality of media content is, however, one of the criteria for selecting media outlets in the aforementioned tender.

The local media landscape is characterised by high levels of ownership concentration, which was recognised as a very high risk and standout issue in Slovenia. This research noted that a complex network of companies, associated with businessman Martin Odlazek, owns a huge share of Slovenian local media, which presents a “great risk for ownership influence and a threat to media pluralism.”[8]

There is no data to indicate how willing Slovenian audiences are to pay for news. Some editors of print media have stated audiences “are no longer willing to pay for demanding and high-quality journalistic content”,[9] also indicating around 10% of the Slovene population is willing to pay for news.[10]

[1] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, V lokalnih medijih naj bo več raznolikih tem, izvirnih zgodb in povezovanja, 2022, https://novinar.com/novica/vec-raznolikih-tem-lokalni-mediji/.

[2] D. Jurčić, S. Kljajić, T. Turnšek, D. Vozab, Report on the Results of Local Media for Better Society and Recommendations for Local Media, 2022, https://novinar.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Report-LMBS.pdf.

[3] D. Kos, Mediji so steber demokracije. Ali je to tudi papir?, Siol.net, 2023, https://siol.net/novice/slovenija/mediji-so-steber-demokracije-ali-je-to-tudi-papir-597628; D. Kos, Slovenski tiskani mediji v vse večjih težavah. Kje so rešitve?, Siol.net, 2023, https://siol.net/novice/slovenija/slovenski-tiskani-mediji-v-vse-vecjih-tezavah-kje-so-resitve-596622.

[4] S. Kos, Prvi časopis v Sloveniji ukinja tiskano izdajo, Delo, 2023, https://www.delo.si/novice/slovenija/prvi-casopis-v-sloveniji-ukinja-tiskano-izdajo/.

[5] Ministrstvo za kulturo, Redni letni javni projektni razpis za sofinanciranje programskih vsebin medijev v letu 2023 (JPR-MV-2023), Gov.si, 2022, https://www.gov.si/zbirke/javne-objave/redni-letni-javni-projektni-razpis-za-sofinanciranje-programskih-vsebin-medijev-v-letu-2023/.

[6] Ministrstvo za kulturo, Redni letni javni projektni razpis za sofinanciranje programskih vsebin medijev v letu 2022, Gov.si, 2021, https://www.gov.si/zbirke/javne-objave/redni-letni-javni-projektni-razpis-za-sofinanciranje-programskih-vsebin-medijev-v-letu-2022/.

[7] Ministrstvo za kulturo, Redni letni javni projektni razpis za sofinanciranje programskih vsebin medijev v letu 2021, Gov.si, 2020, https://www.gov.si/zbirke/javne-objave/redni-letni-javni-projektni-razpis-za-sofinanciranje-programskih-vsebin-medijev-v-letu-2021/; Ministrstvo za kulturo, Redni letni javni projektni razpis za sofinanciranje programskih vsebin medijev v letu 2020, Gov.si, 2019, https://www.gov.si/zbirke/javne-objave/redni-letni-javni-projektni-razpis-za-sofinanciranje-programskih-vsebin-medijev-v-letu-2020/.

[8] D. Jurčić, S. Kljajić, T. Turnšek, D. Vozab, Report on the Results of Local Media for Better Society and Recommendations for Local Media, 2022, https://novinar.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Report-LMBS.pdf.

[9] D. Kos, Mediji so steber demokracije. Ali je to tudi papir?, Siol.net, 2023,https://siol.net/novice/slovenija/mediji-so-steber-demokracije-ali-je-to-tudi-papir-597628.

[10] K. Komar, INTERVJU. Gregor Knafelc, Delo, o digitalizaciji medijev, Goodlife (poletje 2022), 2022, https://issuu.com/goodliferevija/docs/gl_58_issu/s/16166661.

Safety of local journalists Medium risk (58%)

Representatives of journalistic organisations stated in 2023 that wages are no longer the biggest problem for Slovene journalists, overload of work has taken its place.[1] A survey provided by the Slovene Association of Journalists a few years ago also showed overwork is the biggest issue for journalists in Slovenia, followed by low salaries.[2]

There were 2,306 fully employed journalists in Slovenia in 2022;[3] 2,574 persons fully employed in radio and television activity and 87 self-employed in this activity.[4] The average gross pay cheque for people employed in the radio and television activity in 2022 was 2,351 euro.[5] This is however national data and there is no available data with a focus on local journalists alone. The general minimum gross wage in the country in 2022 was 1,074.43 euro.[6] There is also no publicly available data on the remuneration of freelancers or self-employed journalists, either at the national or local level.

Freelancers and self-employed journalists do not have specific social security schemes, they fall under the general schemes provided for self-employed individuals, which include payment of contributions and salary compensation due to sick leave or care of a close family member under certain conditions.[7] Those with the status of “self-employed in culture” can apply for the right to pay social security contributions from the state budget.[8]

Journalists’ organisations are somewhat present on the local level, for instance journalists’ unions and collective organisations at specific media outlets, which are broadly connected to the national organisations (mainly the Slovene Association of Journalists[9] and the Slovenian Union of Journalists[10]). While these are an important voice for journalists against media owners and local, regional or national authorities, they are often also unsuccessful in ensuring editorial independence and the professional standards of local journalists, as their voice is easily ignored. Local journalists adhere to the same ethics code as national journalists.[11]

Throughout 2023, the Slovene Association of Journalists reported 15 verbal or physical attacks on journalists (at the local, regional and national level), in 2022 the association reported 20 and in 2021, when the platform for reporting attacks was established, they reported 32.[12] There is no anti-SLAPP legal framework in place, despite several calls for it from civil society.[13] The number of SLAPP cases, which occurred in the local and regional environment, is unknown.

[1] K. Jakopič, Največja težava novinarjev v Sloveniji niso več slabe plače, ampak preobremenjenost, MMC RTV Slovenija, 2023, https://www.rtvslo.si/slovenija/najvecja-tezava-novinarjev-v-sloveniji-niso-vec-slabe-place-ampak-preobremenjenost/652915.

[2] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Anketa: Novinarji s(m)o preobremenjeni in premalo plačani, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, 2020, https://novinar.com/novica/anketa-novinarji-smo-preobremenjeni-in-premalo-placani/.

[3] SiStat, Delovno aktivno prebivalstvo po skupinah poklicev (SKP-08) in spolu, Slovenija, letno, Statistični urad, https://pxweb.stat.si/SiStatData/pxweb/sl/Data/-/0764803S.PX.

[4] SiStat, Delovno aktivno prebivalstvo po dejavnostih (SKD 2008), Slovenija, letno, Statistični urad, https://pxweb.stat.si/SiStatData/pxweb/sl/Data/-/0775321S.px.

[5] SiStat, Povprečne mesečne plače (EUR) po dejavnostih (SKD 2008) in kohezijskih regijah prebivališča, Slovenija, letno, Statistični urad, https://pxweb.stat.si/SiStatData/pxweb/sl/Data/-/0711312S.px/.

[6] Direktorat za delovna razmerja in pravice iz dela, Minimalna plača, https://www.gov.si/teme/minimalna-placa/.

[7] M. Poredoš, “Ne moremo si privoščiti zboleti!” – Bolniška odsotnost v svetu prekarnega dela, Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, 2023, https://www.zsss.si/ne-morem-si-privosciti-zboleti-93/.

[8] Zakon o uresničevanju javnega interesa za kulturo (ZUJIK), 2002, http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO3370.

[9] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, https://novinar.com/.

[10] Sindikat novinarjev Slovenije, https://sindikat-novinarjev.si/.

[11] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Kodeks novinarjev Slovenije, https://novinar.com/drustvo-novinarjev-slovenije/o-nas/dokumenti/kodeks/.

[12] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Prijavi napad, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, https://novinar.com/prijavi-napad/.

[13] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, SLAPP postopki resna grožnja – zakonodaja nujna, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, 2022, https://novinar.com/novica/slapp-postopki-resna-groznja-zakonodaja-nujna/.

Editorial independence – High risk (66%)

Media laws do not regulate the conflict of interests between owners of media and political parties or politicians, there is a general law on integrity and prevention of corruption, which does not mention media companies or media in specific terms.[1] Several digital only local media outlets are affiliated with major political parties, specifically the current opposition party, SDS.[2]

Municipal magazines and outlets financed from public budgets are also problematic, as they often serve as public relations outlets for the local mayors and their parties. In several municipalities or even regions, they can be the most important or even the only source of information about what is happening in the municipality.[3]

As mentioned, direct subsidies are distributed to media outlets based on a set of publicly available criteria. The distribution of advertising of national, regional or local governments and companies owned or controlled by the state is however lacking transparency and the lack of standards in this area “makes it impossible to sanction violations, since they are not actually violations.”[4]

There are no specific legal provisions granting protection to journalists in the case of changes in ownership or the editorial line. The Slovenian Union of Journalists and other professional organisations offer free legal help and support. There are also no regulatory safeguards, including internal bodies or self-regulatory instruments, which seek to ensure that decisions regarding appointments and dismissals of editors-in-chief are not influenced by commercial interests.

The journalists’ unions of RTVS (including the regional centres in Maribor in Koper) went on strike in 2022 among other opposing arbitrary interventions in the programme and content, violations of programming and professional standards, non-transparent staffing and demanding journalistic, editorial, institutional autonomy.[5] That same year the government of Robert Golob passed the new law on RTVS, arguing the changes would depoliticize the public broadcaster, and the law entered into force after being confirmed on a referendum. There were still many issues with implementation in 2023, however, due to the provisions of the law the management of the RTVS changed.[6]

This research found that some topics, such as religion, science and technology, education, civil society and social issues, are underrepresented in Slovene local media. Another content analysis of five online local media also showed certain actors are underrepresented, for instance women, opposition politicians, trade unions and cultural workers, while others (for instance, politicians in power or men) are more represented. The study also found there is not enough variety of sources in local media stories, as most of the analysed articles were based on only one source. “The reasons can be found in the lack of staff in newsrooms, unreliable sources and political pressures, which make many sources inaccessible,” the authors wrote, reporting also on a widespread presence of economic, political and advertising pressures.[7] These issues combined with concentration of media ownership and political misuse are raising many questions about the plurality of local media in Slovenia.

The Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia (AKOS), the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (AVK) and the Culture and Media Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia have a remit over all media in the country, including local media.

[1] Zakon o integriteti in preprečevanju korupcije (ZIntPK), 2010, http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO5523.

[2] B. Vezjak, (Pre)poznate strankarske medije?, Mladina, 2020, https://www.mladina.si/196476/pre-poznate-strankarske-medije/.

[3] L. J. Kučić, Občinska glasila: milijoni evrov javnega denarja za promocijo županov, Pod črto, 2019, https://podcrto.si/obcinska-glasila-milijoni-evrov-javnega-denarja-za-promocijo-zupanov/.

[4] D. Savič, Državne oglaševalske pogodbe so naravne nesreče, The L Files, 2022, https://www.dsavic.net/2022/09/13/drzavne-oglasevalske-pogodbe-so-naravne-nesrece/.

[5] RTV Slovenija stavka, https://rtvslo-stavka.si/.

[6] K. J. Constitutional Court stops implementation of new RTV Slovenija Act, RTV Slovenija, 2023, https://www.rtvslo.si/radio-si/news/constitutional-court-stops-implementation-of-new-rtv-slovenija-act/658558; Media Freedom Rapid Response, Slovenia: Media freedom groups welcome court ruling on RTV SLO reform, Article 19, 2023, https://www.article19.org/resources/slovenia-media-freedom-groups-welcome-court-ruling-on-rtv-slo-reform/.

[7] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, V lokalnih medijih naj bo več raznolikih tem, izvirnih zgodb in povezovanja, 2022, https://novinar.com/novica/vec-raznolikih-tem-lokalni-mediji/.

Social inclusiveness – Medium risk (57%)

PSM radio and television channels provide regular national news in some minority languages, namely Hungarian and Italian, as members of those communities can follow channels especially dedicated to them. National news in other minority languages is not available on the PSM channels on a day-to-day basis.

The offer of news in minority languages on the most viewed private media with the biggest reach is generally rare. News programmes in minority languages are fragmented and on a few (community) media outlets, for instance radio stations Študent, MARŠ and Romic. The representation of all minorities on private media outlets and services therefore presents a high risk. The representation of minorities in PSM on the other hand presents a medium risk.

While the members of the legally recognised Hungarian and Italian minorities have access to their local government funds and can use them to carry out their own media activities, the members of the Roma community, which is also recognised by law, can only apply to the tenders of the Office for National Minorities and the Ministry of Culture, where they have to compete with established national media.

There is a limited amount of specific outlets or channels addressing marginalised groups, for instance online newspaper Časoris aimed at children, segments for youth on student radio stations, a street newspaper specialising in homelessness and related social issues Kralji ulice. The majority of content for marginalised groups is available on the public broadcaster, which is by law required to serve the whole population.

Generally speaking, local media meet some of the “critical information needs” of local communities, such as supplying information on topics that affect the quality of local residents’ lives, information that is useful to citizens in order to make informed decisions, and timely information about local events, emergency alerts, public health issues, environmental hazards. This was for instance evident in 2023, when Slovenia was hit by most severe floods to date.[1] However, local media outlets can also lack diversity because of the political and ownership issues described in previous parts of this chapter. The connection of local media with their audience and local communities is strong when considering outlets that “have decades of tradition and were founded by local residents.”[2]  

[1] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Hvala novinarskim ekipam, ki informirate prebivalce!, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, 2023, https://novinar.com/novica/hvala-novinarskim-ekipam/

[2] P. Lesjak Tušek, (INTERVJU) Greta Kokot Rajković, Štajerski val: Verodostojna lokalna informacija bo preživela, Večer, 2023, https://vecer.com/v-soboto/intervju-greta-kokot-rajkovic-stajerski-val-verodostojna-lokalna-informacija-bo-prezivela-10331765.

Best practices and open public sphere

There is a limited amount of innovative practices aimed at enhancing an open and thriving public sphere in specific communities. The public editorial meetings held regularly by the investigative centre Oštro are a good example, as their focus is connecting with readers.[1] Neodvisni obalni radio (NOR) can also be considered as an example of innovation. It is an independent online radio, launched in 2020, which also broadcasts for the Italian minority in Slovenia and the Slovenian minority in Italy. The radio’s representatives founded the “Association of free community media” (Neuvrščeni – Zveza svobodnih skupnostnih neodvisnih medijev tretjega medijskega sektorja), with Radio Študent and Radio MARŠ in 2021. This association strives for greater recognition of the social value of free community media and their role as a kind of local public service, formal recognition of the third media sector in legislation and its empowerment for further existence and development.[2]

The online donor platform in support of independent media Nov dan is also an example of an innovative response. It was established in 2022 by the non-profit organisation Danes je nov dan with the aim of supporting critical independent media and media creators working in the fields of investigative journalism and active citizenship. It functions with the help of an open standard for web monetization WMS.[3] As things stand, readers can pay monthly subscriptions to five online media outlets, whose content is otherwise free: Oštro, Boris Vezjak (In media res), Mešanec, Domen Savič (Državljan D) and Agrument.

The online portal Ovtar24.si, which won the Journalism Fund tender in 2023, can also be considered as an innovative response; the jury noted its “innovation, contributing to the building of a stimulating local environment and quality local journalism in the public interest.”[4]

[1] Uredništvo Oštra, Oštro javno razpravljal o Detektorju premoženja, Oštro, 2023, https://www.ostro.si/si/novice/ostro-javno-razpravljal-o-detektorju-premozenja.

[2] Neuvrščeni – Zveza svobodnih skupnostnih neodvisnih medijev tretjega medijskega sektorja, https://neuvrsceni.org/.

[3] Nov dan – donatorska platforma v podporo neodvisnim medijem, https://novdan.si/.

[4] Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, Slovenski lokalni medij Ovtar24.si uspešen na mednarodnem razpisu, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije, 2023, https://novinar.com/novica/slovenski-lokalni-medij-ovtar24si-uspesen/.