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Slovak Mass Media in the 21st Century: Current Challenges

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Miroslava Dobrotková, Artur Bekmatov, Andrea Chlebcová Hečková and Ján Kuciak

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.

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

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“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

The thought of James Russell Wiggins, the chief director of the American daily Washington Post from the first half of the 20th century, relatively accurately expresses how important role, while forming and executing political power in a democratic country, communication channels play that is used for spreading information. Until recently, this privilege belonged to media, especially print, radio and television. Nowadays, the Internet has become an inseparable part of standard information channels. It is used by media houses, originally associated with the mentioned communication channels, by new media focused on publishing online as well as individuals, political, advertising or other groupings. Responsibility for spreading complex and verified information, however, in the eyes of the public and a majority of academic scholars falls under the responsibility of media and their publishers. New trends connected to unprecedented approach to communication channels for the general public brought them unknown competition as well as specific economic problems (to a substantial extent connected to financial and economic crisis rooted in 2008 and 2009).

Problems that affected the largest and most diversified systems in the Western world have to be dealt with by media in Slovakia too. Moreover, media system in the country went through relatively specific development with historically different experiences and influences compared to the typical media systems in...

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