Open Letter from the Board of EANA to the President of Slovenia, to the Speaker of the National Assembly and to the Prime-minister
Dear President of the Republic of Slovenia Pahor,
Dear Speaker of the Parliament Zorčič
Dear Prime Minister Janša,
We are writing to you on behalf of EANA, the European Alliance of News Agencies. EANA is the organisation of 32 leading European news agencies.
We got notice of the plans to change the functioning law of Slovenia´s News Agency STA, in the sense that the main principle of governance for STA shall switch from Slovenia´s National Assembly to the country’s Government. Consecutively there will be wide ranging consequences for the funds and finances of STA as well as for the governance of key positions within the agency such as the managing director and the editor-in-chief. EANA is deeply concerned about those plans.
STA has been a member of EANA for many years now, and its independence as an organisation of Slovenia´s national news infrastructure has always been undoubted. The now planned changes could alter that perception fundamentally.
National news agencies such as STA have been part of a network of international news exchanges for decades. Therefore news agencies are very important „voices'' of their respective countries in the world.
Independence from any third party influence is a cornerstone of the reputation of the news agency. The degree of independence is strongly related to its acceptance as a source of unbiased news within the international media scene.
The independence of a news agency is mainly determined by its ownership structure and the regulations deriving from it. For state funded/owned news agencies the independence of reporting is best displayed when the country’s Parliament is the one responsible for determining the governance of the agency. We regard this as a main reason for the success of STA´s activities.
EANA strongly recommends you to refrain from the plans to change STA´s governing legal framework. Its implementation could have severe consequences for the reputation and business of STA.
If there is any demand from your side for more information about the international news agency business as well as about best practice models, EANA would be happy to enter a discussion with you – also on a short term basis.
On behalf of the Board of EANA:
President of EANA
President and CEO of dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Secretary General of EANA
Copies of this letter go to all 32 members of EANA:
AFP - Agence France Presse - France
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata - Italy
ATA - Albanian Telegraphic Agency
AA - Anadolu Agency - Turkey
ANA - Andorran News Agency
ANA-MPA - Athens News Agency / Macedonian Press Agency S.A. - Greece
APA - Austrian Press Agency
Belga - Belgian News Agency
BTA - Bulgarian News Agency
HINA - Croatian News Agency
CNA - Cyprus News Agency
CTK - Czech News Agency
ANP - Dutch News Agency
FENA - Federal News Agency - Bosnia and Herzegovina
STT - Finnish News Agency
dpa - German Press Agency
MTI - Hungarian News Agency Corp.
Keystone-SDA - Switzerland
Lusa - Portuguese National News Agency
NTB - Norwegian Press Agency
PA Media - United Kingdom
PAP - Polish Press Agency
RITZAUS BUREAU I/S - Denmark
AGERPRES - Romanian National News Agency
TASS - Russian News Agency
TASR - Slovakia Press Agency
STA - Slovene Press Agency
EFE - Spanish News Agency
AzerTac - State News Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Tanjug News Agency - Serbia
TT - Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå - Sweden
Ukrinform - Ukrainian National News Agency