Vienna, 22 March 2019
According to information from Slovakia, the culture and media committee of the Slovak parliament approved yesterday on 21 March 2019 the amendment to the Press Act, which would require that media outlets publish replies from a politician or public person who claimed an outlet’s reporting damaged their, honor, dignity or privacy.
Next decission should be by the Parliament. The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) express disapproval connected to this decission.
It is not the first time that Slovakia is protecting in this form politicians and public persons. Slovakia’s 2008 press law already mandates a right of reply, SEEMO condenmned it and in 2011 the law was amended to apply only to the general public, excluding politicians and public persons.
For SEEMO this possible chagnes are a new attack on press freedom in Slovakia. The changes would make it easier for Slovak politicians and public persons to demand a right of reply in the media, even when the facts at issue were proven and verified.
The amendment has been proposed by the ruling Smer-SD party.