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IRIS 1995-1:12/32


New legislation for the mass media

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Ad van Loon

European Audiovisual Observatory

On 25th March 1994 a law was passed in Slovenia governing the publication of information and the rights and responsibilities of the mass media and journalists.

The first part of the legislation covers general conditions such as definitions of the mass media and provisions concerning publication and registration. It also includes a written description of the Slovenian state's role in the development of non-commercial mass media and their technical infrastructure. The second section describes the rights and duties of the mass media. This also governs the publication of urgent messages, the right to reply and rectification as well as advertising and access to information. The third section serves to protect pluralism and diversity of opinion. On a general level the law states that a private individual or a legal entity may hold a maximum of 33% of the shares or voting rights of a daily newspaper publisher or radio station. Daily newspaper publishers may only hold a maximum 10% share in another daily newspaper or radio station. Similarly, the same applies to the participation of one radio broadcasting organisation in the capital of another radio broadcasting organisation or daily newspaper. A daily newspaper publisher may neither set up its own radio broadcasting organisation nor be involved in its activities. There is a similar ban on radio stations publishing their own daily newspapers or setting up a press organisation. Basically, any single radio broadcasting organisation may only deal in either radio or television stations. Mass media producers are governed also by legislation on competition and mergers.

The fourth section contains specific provisions for radio and television stations. For local non-commercial radio stations the legislation includes a time limit on advertising of 15% (or 20% for television sales) with a daily maximum of one hour.

The fifth section deals with conditions for foreign mass media and such like for the protection of the Slovenian language.

Law on Mass Media of 25 March 1994.