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The Agenda Setting Function of Slovenian Mass Media: Glossing over Coronavirus

Nine months into the damned pandemic and Slovenia is fucking up this coronavirus pandemic after getting shit under control in spring.

I got out in May, returning home to South Korea. I only keep up with events through the internet and by hearing from my friends and family. I don’t see things on the ground, but I do see things on the interwebs.

Maybe I’m missing some things, but other things are pretty clear.

It feels stupid that I have to point this out, but your main news media aren’t fucking helping with this coronavirus epidemic, are they?

In fact, they’re being pretty damned shit, aren’t they?

The biggest news website in Slovenia, pop tv’s 24ur.com

  1. no official stats.
  2. no link to an official public health page.
  3. no mention of government efforts.
  4. no information on how to reduce transmission and stay safe.
  5. coronavirus updates do not stand out at all.
  6. nobody wearing a mask in most photos.

Are you fucking with me? What the fuck is this bullshit? The pandemic that is wrecking your fucking country and it’s on the equivalent of page six. After sports, what-the-fuck-ever “pop in” is supposed to be, and weather.

It don’t even have an update on cases around the country? A link to the public health site and updates? Maybe the, you know, government team trying to handle the pandemic? No?

In fact, the only bit of news about the situation on the main page is news story number three: the opposition trying to bring down the government again. You know, after they fucking stepped down as a political maneouver right at the start of the fucking pandemic.

This is fucking bullshit.

This isn’t journalism, this is fucking sabotage.

You know how you lose legitimacy? By appearing, mmm, very very obviously biased.

National public broadcaster, rtvslo.si

  1. official stats, that’s a relief.
  2. no link to an official public health page.
  3. no mention of government efforts.
  4. no information on how to reduce transmission and stay safe.
  5. coronavirus updates barely stand out.
  6. nobody wearing a mask in most photos.

This is supposed to be the news website of the public broadcaster. You know, the one representing the people and the government. But it doesn’t show any mention of the government. It isn’t putting out public health advice.

The fucking basics: make people feel it’s normal and pro-social to wear a fucking mask and keep their distance.

Again, they highlight the opposition trying to bring down the government. And sports. For some reason Slovenian media really like talking about sports. I guess it’s an easy way to find “news” — a different sportsball team wins every time.

For comparison a Korean news site.

  1. link to KCDC front and center.
  2. clear stats: cases and deaths.
  3. call center for direct information.
  4. update on what’s happening now.
  5. visible people in masks.

Is that so fucking hard? Tracking Korean media, it’s fucking easy to see what I’m supposed to do without even reading the government advice.

“Oh, look, there’s a deadly disease around. I should wear a mask.”

I just look at the damned page and it’s obvious.

Why is Slovenian Media Downplaying the Coronavirus?

I don’t know. I wish I had an answer.

I might have my suspicions about the redistribution of public money and the fact that these two largest national tv and web portals have been waging a media krieg against the current governing party for years.

Almost like pulling together and working for the common national good would harm their factional interests. And probably inflict some sort of ego wound, too.

I don’t know. Those could be reasonable suspicions, but I don’t know.

Because it seems so fucking obvious.

I’m not talking about scaremongering, just using the visibility and strength of the largest local media to inform the populace about how to behave in the middle of a pandemic and to help fight the inevitable fatigue of fighting a virus as flu season is approaching.

Because it’s fucking hard to keep one’s guard up. Fighting the coronavirus is simple, but hard. So, y’know, it helps to have a little morale boost. To feel like we’re in this together.

This should be fucking easy to do.

  • clear stats
  • repeated instructions
  • emphasize unity of purpose
  • pieces about people managing despite adversity

Shit like that. Easy, right?

But, hey, what do I know. I guess politics comes first. I guess the Laibachers must know what they’re doing with their weekly protests against the government. Polarization is always good for somebody, for the little dungheap leaders, isn’t it?

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