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Slovak Mass Media in the 21st Century: Current Challenges


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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4 The Phenomenon of Alternative Media in Slovakia


Media were especially in their beginnings mediators of information of the ruling classes. Predecessors of media in China were in the form of secret messages aimed exclusively for the ruling dynasties. Certain indications of spreading information independent of the ruling class may be found already in the Middle Ages, yet their real boom occurred with the invention of letterpress and strengthening of capitalism. Since then we may find many cases when media began to serve for the expanding of other opinions. For instance, the first newspaper published in the territory of Slovakia, Mercurius veridicus ex Hungaria of 1705–1710, was printed in times of the anti-Habsburg uprising of Francis II Rákóczi137 as “anti-propaganda” of the kuruc rebels against the emperor newspaper Wienerische Diarum. During the following centuries, it was common that journals were censored, fined, and eventually completely banned. In the territory of Slovakia this, situation persisted until 1989. However, it would be incorrect to identify the historical fight for freedom of the press with the production of alternative media. The aim is to point at the fact that attempts for another, different interpretation of events are present throughout the entire development of media until now.

In regard to the period of The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, media aimed at Czechoslovakia that pointed out that opinion alternative with their content alongside samizdat periodicals should not be omitted, especially radio broadcasting of stations such as Slobodná Európa (Free Europe) and Hlas Ameriky (The Voice of...

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