Slovak Mass Media in the 21st Century: Current Challenges

by Miroslava Dobrotková (Author) Artur Bekmatov (Author) Andrea Chlebcová Hečková (Author) Ján Kuciak (Author)
©2019 Monographs 116 Pages


The book deals with the most challenging issues which the Slovak Mass Media are currently facing, including matters of public criticism. The first chapter describes the media influence on power control in Slovakia. It does not avoid the controversial question of corruption in the Slovak media field. The following chapter examines the stereotypes about the social minorities that are still widely spread by the media (especially the Internet and the social media). In this context, the chapter related to the public media explains why the existence of the media of public service is so important and why it is necessary to finance such media by public sources and not by the state. In the final chapter, the author aims to identify the reasons why alternative sources of information usually fail to inform truthfully, impartially and objectively.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the authors
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1 Crisis of Mass Media and Its Influence on Power Control in Slovakia
  • 1.1 Corruption and Politics in Slovakia after 1989
  • 1.2 Slovak Media after 1989
  • 1.3 Results of Slovak Media in the Power Control
  • 1.4 Summary
  • 2 Current Issues of Presenting of Stereotypes in Mass Media
  • 2.1 Influence of Media Concerning Integration of Social Minorities
  • 2.2 Influence of Media and the Internet on Politics and Political Communication
  • 2.3 Reasons for Combination of Forms of Analysis
  • 2.4 Analysis of a Particular Example
  • 2.5 Original Document of Slovak Governance Institute
  • 2.6 Discourse Analysis of the Article and Politician’s Status
  • 2.7 Conversion Analysis of Discussion on Facebook
  • 2.8 Summary
  • 3 Current Issues of Public Media
  • 3.1 Activity of the Council of Europe in the Field of Public Broadcasting
  • 3.2 Public Service Broadcasting in Slovakia
  • 3.3 On the Terms of Public Service and Public Interest
  • 3.4 Viewership of Public Service Media
  • 3.5 Funding of Public Service Media
  • 3.6 User Charges
  • 3.7 Funding from the State Budget
  • 3.8 Future of Slovak Media of Public Service
  • 4 The Phenomenon of Alternative Media in Slovakia
  • 4.1 What Is the Alternative?
  • 4.2 Beginnings of Current Alternative Media in Slovakia
  • 4.3 From Pirated Radio to an Attempt for Area-Wide Television
  • 4.4 Criticism of Alternative Media
  • 4.4.1 Example 1: Slobodný vysielač: Overestimating the unemployment rate in the United States
  • 4.4.2 Example 2: Zem a vek: Doubting the effects of chemotherapy
  • 4.5 Summary
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • About the Authors


The development of Slovak media environment in the last 25 years is determined by turbulent political situation, the transition from socialist state system to the building and consolidating of democracy. Before 1989, the crucial function of media includes support of actual political leading power in preserving the status quo, communist propaganda and spreading only the official information. Mainly in the first years after the Velvet Revolution, the work of some media had common features with socialist media, especially during the so-called Mečiar era. Dual broadcasting system in Slovakia was established only in 1991 (before 1989, there were only state broadcasters) when public service media were created; however, from the beginning of the public broadcast, experts were discussing which system would guarantee real independence of public service media from politics. Nowadays, Slovak media operate on free market; their freedom of expression and the right to be informed is anyhow protected. Slovak media are confronted with the mistrust of the public and criticism of different aspects of their work – from alleged unprofessionalism and spreading distorted information to the dissemination of the facts that are not important and on the other hand marginalizing the facts that are necessary for the everyday decision-making of public.

This monograph deals with the most significant issues that are matters of public criticism. It has no ambition to cover all the problems which Slovak Mass Media actually face, but it is focused on the most challenging questions which actually resonate with the Slovak society. These are especially the role of media in the context of power control, sense of existence and funding of media of public service, corruption, spreading stereotypes by media and plurality of information and alternative media. In this regard, the work follows the research of Cillingová et al. titled Current Issues of Slovak Mass Media, published in 2019.

This monograph is divided into four chapters. In the first chapter named “Crisis of Mass Media and its Influence on Power Control in Slovakia,” the author defines the current situation in Slovak journalism, including its negative side, and explains how the political changes after 1989 have ←9 | 10→influenced the development of Slovak media market. The chapter interestingly describes how the theme of corruption penetrated the public discussion and on the other side, how the most powerful politicians tried to cease the dissemination of inconvenient information. The second chapter named “Current Issues of Presenting of Stereotypes in Mass Media” examines the stereotypes spread by media (especially internet and social media) in the context of its integrating function. On the basis of analyzing concrete news related to the education of Roma children, the author explains how the personal attitude marked by prejudices can influence the final text of news and how the simplification of information and neglect of journalists’ duties (as the duty to verify the information) lead to the dissemination of disinformation and in the end even to the confirmation of prejudices. The third chapter titled “Current issues of Public Media” tries to explain why the role of public service media is irreplaceable. In the current social atmosphere, when the funding of public service media is considered as irresponsible spending of public and state finance, it describes that in relation to public service media the relevant question does not sound what fiscal profit such media could produce, but how public service media could contribute to public discussion and awareness. The issue of the last chapter is “Phenomenon of Alternative Media in Slovakia.” First at all, the author defines which type of media shall be possibly identified as alternative and maps a short (for this moment) history of such media. Although the author points out the situations in which the alternative media fail to inform truthfully, impartially and objectively, on the other hand, he also questions the critics of alternative news when he remains that this criticism often does not take into account the difference between propaganda and relevant politic PR.

We believe that this monograph will be a valuable contribution to the academic and public discussion about the current situation in Slovak media system and about the future measures that are needed to be implemented with the aim to raise the awareness of Slovak public.

1 Crisis of Mass Media and Its Influence on Power Control in Slovakia

“Political actions and opinions of informed citizens are their own ones. Political actions and opinions of those who are partly informed pertain to those who partly informed them.”1


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (October)
information public service investigative Slovak media communication
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 116 pp., 13 fig. b/w.

Biographical notes

Miroslava Dobrotková (Author) Artur Bekmatov (Author) Andrea Chlebcová Hečková (Author) Ján Kuciak (Author)

Miroslava Dobrotková, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. Her research focuses on media law. Andrea Chlebcová Hečková, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. Her research focuses on political communication in media. Ján Kuciak († 21 February 2018), PhD, was an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra and investigative journalist. Artur Bekmatov, PhD, is a journalist and media analyst.


Title: Slovak Mass Media in the 21st Century: Current Challenges
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118 pages