Shooting the Messenger

An interview with Beata Balogova, editor-in-chief of SME Slovakia

7 May 2019

Wojciech Przybylski


Journalists in Slovakia don’t want to fight a war with politicians. Mainstream politicians once again try to redefine what journalism is and change the Press Code.

 This April, at the International Journalism in Perugia, Visegrad/Insight interviewed Beata Balogova, editor-in-chief of SME, about the political issues facing Slovakia and the new president. Wojciech Przybylski sat down with the head of the most important daily in Slovakia to talk about significance of recent political changes, new directions and tensions between decision makers and media.

After the cementing her victory in the March elections, president-elect Zuzana Čaputová will take office on 15 June 2019. Her victory sends a very positive signal not only for Slovakia but across the region. However, it seems that Slovakia is at a crossroads: it’s not so rosy as it might seem from the outside. What are the challenges you’ve noticed?  

Zuzana Čaputová will have to function in a context and she cannot set all the rules by herself.

Of course, she can try, and I hope she will, to keep her discourse and keep her manners: reasonable, calm, making good use of arguments, avoiding populism. But she is entering in a very tense political environment: where Robert Fico is fighting for survival, where fascists feel encouraged, and the political conspiracy theories flourish.


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Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.


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