Mass Media Act
(Zakon o medijih; ZMed)
subject of the law
The present act shall stipulate the rights, obligations and responsibilities of legal and natural persons and the public interest of the Republic of Slovenia in the area of the mass media.
(1) Under the present act mass media are newspapers and magazines, radio and television stations, electronic publications, teletext and other forms of editorially formulated programming published daily or periodically through the transmission of written material, vocal material, sound or pictures in a manner accessible to the public.
(2) Under the present act programming comprises information of all types (news, opinion, notices, reports and other information) and works under copyright disseminated via mass media for the purpose of informing the public, satisfying the public's cultural, educational and other needs, and communicating on a mass basis.
(3) The term "mass media" does not cover bulletins, catalogues, other forms of publication of information intended exclusively for advertising, business communication, educational processes or the internal work of companies, institutions and foundations, societies, political parties, and church and other organisations, school gazettes, the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia and the official gazettes of local communities, other official publications, posters, pamphlets, brochures and transparencies, and video pages without moving pictures (unpaid reports), unless stipulated otherwise by law.
activities of disseminating programming
Activities of disseminating programming encompass the activities of publishing newspapers, magazines and periodicals, radio and television activities, and the issue of electronic publications irrespective of the technical form of the medium on which they are issued.
the public interest in the area of the mass media
(1) The Republic of Slovenia shall support the mass media in the dissemination of programming important to:
* the exercise of the right of citizens of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenes around the world, members of the Slovene minorities in Austria, Hungary and Italy, the Hungarian and Italian ethnic communities in Slovenia, and the Romani community living in Slovenia to public information and to be informed in general
* the protection of the Slovenian national and cultural identity
* the promotion of cultural creativity in the area of the mass media
* a culture of public dialogue
* the consolidation of the social state based on the rule of law
* the development of education and science
(2) The Republic of Slovenia shall support the development of technical infrastructure in the area of the mass media.
(3) The Republic of Slovenia shall provide extra support to the dissemination of programming intended for the blind and the deaf-and-dumb using techniques thereto adapted, and to the development of the appropriate technical infrastructure.
(4) The government shall at the proposal of the minister responsible for culture (hereinafter: the responsible minister) set out the conditions, criteria and procedure for carrying out a regular annual public tender for co-financing the creation of programming and the development of the technical infrastructure specified in this article using funds from the national budget, in accordance with the provisions of the act governing the implementation of the public interest in the field of culture.
protection of Slovene language
(1) Publishers founded and registered in the Republic of Slovenia must disseminate programming in Slovene, or must translate programming into Slovene in an appropriate manner, unless such is primarily intended for readers, listeners or viewers from any other language group.
(2) Publishers may disseminate programming intended for language education in a foreign language.
(3) The reason for disseminating programming in a foreign language or the purpose thereof must be separately elaborated in a discernible position within/on the programming medium using clear graphic, visual or acoustic symbols in Slovene.
(4) If programming is intended for the Hungarian or Italian ethnic communities, publishers may disseminate the programming in the language of the ethnic community.
(5) If, for reasons of the immediacy, directness and authenticity of informing the public, or because of unavoidable time or technical obstacles or other unforeseen obstacles, programming is exceptionally disseminated in a foreign language, the provision of the third paragraph of this article shall apply.
(6) The sense of the provision of the first paragraph of this article shall also apply to media carrying information specified in the third paragraph of Article 2 of the present act.
freedom of expression
Mass media activities shall be based on freedom of expression, the inviolability and protection of human personality and dignity, the free flow of information, media openness to different opinions and beliefs and to diverse content, the autonomy of editorial personnel, journalists and other authors/creators in creating programming in accordance with programme concepts and professional codes of behaviour, and the personal responsibility of journalists, other authors/creators of pieces and editorial personnel for the consequences of their work.
freedom of dissemination of programming from other countries
The Republic of Slovenia shall in its territory ensure freedom in disseminating and receiving programming from other countries, and may in individual cases restrict such freedom only in accordance with an international treaty by which the Republic of Slovenia is bound, and with the present act.
prohibition of incitement to inequality and intolerance
The dissemination of programming that encourages national, racial, religious, sexual or any other inequality, or violence and war, or incites national, racial, religious, sexual or any other hatred and intolerance shall be prohibited.
PUBLISHER'S RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
(1) A media publisher (hereinafter: publisher) is a legal or natural person that carries out activities of disseminating programming in accordance with the present act.
(2) A publisher shall independently formulate the mass medium's programme concept and shall bear fundamental responsibility for the implementation thereof.
(3) The activities of a publisher may also encompass the creation or production of programming.
special conditions for founding and entering a publisher in the court register
(1) In order to carry out activities of disseminating programming a legal or natural person specified in the previous article may be founded or entered in the court register in the Republic of Slovenia if in addition to the general conditions the person also fulfils the following extra conditions:
* the person's head office or address of permanent residence is located in the Republic of Slovenia
* the editorial board is based in the Republic of Slovenia
(2) The conditions specified in the previous paragraph shall not apply if the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Culture (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) gives written approval for such.
(3) When issuing the approval specified in the previous paragraph the relevant ministry shall consider the mass medium's significance to development in the area of public information and Slovenian culture.
Republic of Slovenia jurisdiction
(1) Irrespective of the provisions of the previous article the supposition that the publisher of a television station falls under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Slovenia shall apply if the head office of the publisher or just the editorial board is located therein and the other is based in a member-state of the European Union (hereinafter: the EU) or in a third country, under the condition that the programming is disseminated primarily through the work of people employed or contractually engaged in the Republic of Slovenia.
(2) If a significant proportion of a television station's programming is disseminated through their work by people employed or contractually engaged in the Republic of Slovenia, and another significant proportion is disseminated by people employed or contractually engaged in an EU member-state, the supposition that the publisher of the station falls under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Slovenia shall apply if the head office of the publisher is in the Republic of Slovenia, irrespective of where the editorial board is based.
(3) If a significant proportion of a television station's programming is disseminated through their work by people employed or contractually engaged in third countries, the supposition that the publisher of the station falls under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Slovenia shall apply if the station began the dissemination of programming pursuant to Slovenian law and if a steady commercial link between it and the Slovenian economy is maintained.
(4) If the provision of the previous paragraphs of this article cannot be applied to the publisher of a television station, and the publisher of the television station does not fall under the jurisdiction of any other EU member-state or signatory of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, the publisher of the television station shall be deemed to fall under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Slovenia if the publisher:
* uses a frequency assigned thereto by the relevant authority in the Republic of Slovenia
* does not use a frequency specified in the previous indent, but uses satellite capacities pertaining to the Republic of Slovenia
* does not use either a frequency or satellite capacities specified in the previous two indents, but uses a satellite ground station located in the Republic of Slovenia.
mass media register
(1) For the purpose of entry in the mass media register the publisher must register the mass medium at the relevant ministry prior to commencing the performance of activities.
(2) It shall be necessary to cite the following in the application for entry in the mass media register:
* the name of the mass medium
* the name or business name and head office address or address of permanent residence of the publisher
* the publisher's responsible officer, if the publisher is a legal person
* the type of mass medium and interval of its dissemination
* the full name of the responsible editor
* the address at which the editorial board or responsible editor is based
* the method and envisaged area of coverage for the dissemination of programming
* the language of dissemination of programming
* the sources and method of financing
* information on persons that hold ownership or management stakes of at least 5 per cent or stakes of at least 5 per cent in the voting rights within the assets of a publisher of a general informative printed daily or weekly or a radio or television station
(3) Evidence on the fulfilment of the extra conditions specified in Article 10 of the present act, evidence on entry in the court register, the publisher's basic legal act in accordance with the present act, and details of the programme concept in accordance with the present act must be enclosed in the application for entry in the mass media register. Prior to the beginning of transmission publishers of a radio or television station must submit copies of the contracts concluded with collective organisations for the protection of copyright and related rights on works that will be broadcast on their stations.
(4) Publishers may not register a mass medium that would have the same name as a mass medium already entered in the register.
(1) The relevant ministry must enter a mass medium in the register if the applicant fulfils all the conditions prescribed by the present act, and must issue a ruling on entry in the mass media register within fifteen days of receiving the application, or request supplementary information for the application within the same period.
(2) If the applicant fails to fulfil the conditions for entry in the mass media register, the relevant ministry shall via a resolution deny entry in the register.
administration of the mass media register
(1) A publisher must notify the relevant ministry of any change in the information specified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 12 of the present act and of cessation of operations within fifteen days of the change or cessation occurring.
(2) Publishers must also report any other information to the relevant ministry that it requests for the purpose of implementing valid regulations in the area of the mass media.
(3) By the end of March each year publishers of a radio or television station must send a written report on the performance of activities and the implementation of the programme concept to the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: the agency).
(4) Publishers of printed mass media must send a mandatory copy of each issue to the National University Library.
(5) The information in the mass media register, with the exception of information on the sources and methods of financing and the programme concepts of radio and television stations that are yet to begin transmitting, shall be available to members of the public with a legitimate interest. The method of administering the register and the procedure for entry in the register and for disseminating information therefrom shall be set out in detail by the responsible minister.
deletion from the register
(1) The relevant ministry shall delete a mass medium from the register in the following cases:
* if within twenty-four months of entry in the register the publisher fails to obtain the licence for performing activities specified in Article 105 of the present act when the licence is required under the present act, or if the licence is permanently revoked or ceases to be valid
* if despite a warning the publisher persists with serious infringements of the law
* if the mass medium does not operate for more than six months, except in cases when it is published at longer intervals
* if the publisher no longer fulfils the conditions for entry in the mass media register
(2) The relevant ministry may only delete a radio or television station from the register on the basis of a decision by or the prior approval of the agency.
(3) The relevant ministry shall notify the agency regarding the issue of a ruling on deletion of a radio or television station from the register within eight days.
ban on performance of activities
(1) Publishers may not disseminate programming via a mass medium that is not entered in the mass media register at the relevant ministry.
(2) The relevant inspector may in the event of infringement of the present act issue a ruling on the elimination of deficiencies or irregularities determined and stipulate a deadline for the elimination thereof.
(3) The relevant inspector may prohibit a publisher that is disseminating programming via a mass medium without being entered in the register from performing activities, and may seize working drafts, products and materials used to perform activities.
(1) The purpose of publication and the basic substantive guidelines for the operation of a mass medium shall be set out by a publisher through the programme concept. The programme concept of a radio or television station must also contain a programming scheme, which shall define:
* the type of programming, and/or classification thereof into programming areas
* the anticipated quantitative ratio between individual programming areas
* the anticipated maximum amount of advertising content
* the anticipated amount of in-house production and production of Slovenian audio-visual works
(2) The publisher of a television station shall also stipulate in the programme concept the initial proportions of works of European audio-visual production, European audio-visual works by independent producers and Slovenian audio-visual works.
(3) A publisher must obtain the editorial board's opinion prior to a fundamental change or significant addition to the programme concept.
(4) A publisher must obtain prior approval from the agency for a fundamental change or significant addition to the programme concept of a radio or television station and submit the editorial board's opinion on the intended change or addition.
(5) The programme concept shall be a constituent part of employment contracts between the publisher and editorial personnel and between the publisher and journalists. The special rights of editorial personnel and journalists deriving from changes or additions to the programme concept shall be defined by the branch collective agreement.
(6) The provision of the second paragraph of this article shall not apply to publishers of television stations specified in Articles 77, 79 and 80 of the present act, if the individual station is intended for local inhabitants and is not included in a national network.
(7) The provisions of this article shall not apply to television stations specialising in telesales or self-promotion specified in Article 96 of the present act.
EDITORIAL BOARD'S RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
(1) Each mass medium must have a responsible editor, who shall be appointed and dismissed by the publisher in accordance with the present act and the publisher's basic legal act. Before appointing or dismissing the responsible editor the publisher must obtain an opinion from the editorial board, unless stronger influence on the part of the editorial board is stipulated in the basic legal act.
(2) The responsible editor shall be answerable for the implementation of the programme concept and shall perform other tasks stipulated by the publisher's basic legal act.
(3) The responsible editor shall be answerable for any information published, unless stipulated otherwise by the present act.
(4) If a mass medium has more than one responsible editor, each shall be answerable for the publication of information in the programming area for which he/she is responsible.
(5) The appointment of responsible editors of Radiotelevizija Slovenija radio and television stations shall be set out by a separate act.
(1) Any person who fulfils the following conditions may be a responsible editor:
* the person possesses a certificate of active knowledge of Slovene if the person is not a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia
* the person possesses a certificate of active knowledge of Hungarian or Italian in the event that the mass medium is for the Hungarian or Italian ethnic communities
* the person has commercial capability
* no ban on working in the profession, performing activities or making public appearances has been pronounced against the person
(2) The provisions of the first and second indents of the previous paragraph shall not apply if the programming is disseminated in a foreign language in accordance with the first paragraph of Article 5 of the present act.
(3) Any person who enjoys immunity under the constitution or the law may not be a responsible editor.
(1) The editorial board shall comprise the responsible editor or responsible editors, other editorial personnel and journalists, and in accordance with the publisher's basic legal act may also comprise other authors/creators of programming pieces and programme collaborators. The legal relations between the publisher and the editorial board and the basic mutual relations within the editorial board shall be set out by the publisher's basic legal act in accordance with the present act, whereby such act shall define the editorial board's degree of autonomy in regulating relations within the editorial board. If the publisher does not employ several editorial personnel or journalists, the responsible editor may perform the function of the editorial board alone.
(2) The editorial board, editorial personnel, journalists, and authors/creators of other programming pieces shall be independent in their work within the framework of the programme concept and in accordance with the publisher's basic legal act.
(1) Under the present act a journalist is any person who is involved in the collection, processing, structuring or sorting of information for publication via the mass media and is employed at a publisher, or who performs journalistic activities independently as an occupation (a freelance journalist).
(2) Editorial personnel, journalists and the authors/creators of pieces shall not be obliged to reveal the sources of their information, except in cases where such is stipulated by criminal legislation.
(3) Journalists may not have their employment terminated, a contracted concluded with them cancelled, their pay reduced, their status in the editorial board changed or their position worsened in any other manner for reason of the expression of opinions and standpoints in accordance with the programme concept and the rules, criteria and standards of the profession.
(1) The status of a freelance journalist shall be acquired through entry in the register of freelance journalists at the relevant ministry, following expression of a prior opinion by a registered professional journalists' organisation. The responsible minister shall rule on entry in the register.
(2) Any person who fulfils the following conditions may be entered in the register specified in the previous paragraph:
* the person holds a certificate on active knowledge of Slovene if the person is not a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia
* the person performs journalistic activities as a sole or principal occupation
* the person has proof of publication in mass media entered in the register specified in Article 12 of the present act
* the person has not been banned from performing such activities by a legally binding court ruling
(3) Any person who no longer fulfils the conditions specified in the previous paragraph shall be deleted from the register by the relevant ministry.
(4) At the proposal of the responsible minister the Government of the Republic of Slovenia shall via a decree prescribe the procedure and detailed criteria for acquiring the status of a freelance journalist and for administering the register of freelance journalists as a public book of record.
(5) Via the decree specified in the previous paragraph the method and procedure for periodic verification of the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the second paragraph of this article that must be fulfilled by a freelance journalist for entry in the register shall be