Status: Free
Legal Environment: 3
Political Influences: 9
Economic Pressures: 7
Total Score: 19

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 76
Religious Groups: Roman Catholic [including Uniate (2 percent)] (70.8 percent), Lutheran (1 percent), Muslim (1 percent), other (27.2 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Slovene (88 percent), Croat (3 percent), Serb (2 percent), Bozniak (1 percent), other (6 percent)
Capital: Ljubljana

Freedom of expression and the press is guaranteed in Article 39 of the constitution, and the government generally respects these rights. Libel, however, remains a criminal offense. There was finally progress this year in the investigation into the assault on investigative journalist Miro Petek. The prosecutor's office, frequently criticized for stonewalling the investigation, filed five indictments and the trial began in May 2004. It had not concluded at year's end.

The Slovenian mainstream media do not present a wide range of political and ethnic views. Most print media are privately owned and support themselves with advertising revenues from companies in which the government owns major stock. Three of the six national television channels are a part of the government-sponsored RTV Slovenia network. Foreign broadcasts and print publications are widely available. However, foreign ownership in Slovenian media is low.

Although media are editorially independent, limited self-censorship exists as a result of indirect political and economic pressures. Commercial demands on media companies have often led to biased editorial policies and paid advertising disguised as editorial content. Slovenian journalists launched their first ever general strike on election day in October in a dispute over the national collective agreement and low wages. The strike, which lasted three days, caused a media "blackout" that was breached only by the commercial station POP and the news program Finance. Internet access in Slovenia is free and unrestricted; approximately one-third of the population uses the Web to obtain information.

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