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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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3 Current Issues of Public Media

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The position of the European public media is historically based on a concept of the British BBC from where public broadcasting was gradually spread also to some non-European and overseas countries (e.g. Canada) during the 20th century95. However, according to McQuail, a uniform and generally accepted theory of public broadcasting has never existed and systems of public broadcasting differ in separate countries.96 In their publication Media Systems in Postmodern World, Hallin and Mancini compared media systems operating in 18 countries, and although they were able to define certain common elements of separate systems and create three models of media, they admitted that the model does not work in any of the researched states in “ideal form”.97 According to McQuail, it is at least possible to determine common targets which should be fulfilled by public media according to national legislation. These are the following:

– full-area signal coverage;

– service to all relevant opinions, attitudes and interests;

– service for minorities;

– service for political parties;

– support for national culture;

– provision for impartial and balanced information, including controversial topics;

– preferring of public interest before financial one;

– provision of information of high “quality”, whereby quality is defined differently.98

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