STA decorated for irreplaceable role in media space
Ljubljana, 23 June - President Borut Pahor decorated the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) with the Order of Merit on Wednesday in recognition of its "irreplaceable mission" in the media space for the past 30 years and its vital role in the period when Slovenia was gaining its independence.
In explaining its decision to decorate the STA, the president's office noted that the agency was created when the country was born and it thus became its "official witness".
"The Slovenian Press Agency and the independent Slovenia are inseparable peers. They were born at a seminal moment, they walked together through the turbulence of independence and grew up together. They were both born out of necessity and elation, now they are both entering a new period of maturity," reads the explanation.
The office noted that credibility of information is just as important today as it was 30 years ago, thus the STA's "role and responsibility remain irreplaceable".
The STA has developed into a modern wire service over the past 30 years, changing, growing and adapting as the country has developed and established itself and media changed.
However, it has retained its mission of keeping the foreign public informed about developments in Slovenia and its English service is a leading source of daily news for international public, reads the justification.
In serving the domestic public, the agency follows and reports on all fields of life in Slovenia, from politics, business and economy, to culture, sports, science and education.
Daily, the STA releases more than 350 news reports in Slovenian and English, also reporting local news and thus linking Slovenia. "Without it, many events would remain invisible and unknown," reads the justification.
At a ceremony in the Presidential Palace, the decoration was accepted by Barbara Štrukelj, the STA editor-in-chief, and Bojan Veselinovič, STA director, who described autonomous and institutionally and financially independent agencies as a golden standard of media freedom, democracy and respect for the right to be informed.
"Fast, credible and unbiased information as the agency's main product is the more in the interest of the public now that we have an information overload and we are being increasingly less informed," he said.
"The suspension of the STA's financing is thus the darkest episode in the agency's history that we hope will end with compliance with both laws dealing with the matters and reason that will end our agony," he added.
The STA, which marked 30 years since publishing its first news articles in Slovenian and English on Sunday, is in a difficult situation after the government suspended financing for its public service at the beginning of the year.
President Pahor today also decorated the Koper bureau of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the Slovenian bureau of Italian public broadcaster RAI.
They earned the acknowledgment for their important role in producing radio and television content for the respective ethnic communities in Slovenia and Italy and for their long-running cross-border cooperation that enriches programmes on both sides of the border.