Toolkit of GOOD PRACTICES on Citizen Participation!


Newspaper Participation


Country: Slovenia

Context

The newspaper column "Hello, this is a reader of Dolenjc!" is a feature in the local newspaper “Dolenjski list”, which comes out every Thursday and covers the area of South Eastern Slovenia. Newspaper readers have the opportunity to call the newspapers journalist on duty every Thursday between 6 and 7 p.m. They can express their opinion about something, ask a question, praise or criticize someone or something and express their observations when they notice that something is wrong, or give their approval on something.

Measure

The objective of the column is to give readers the opportunity to say what they think, what they notice and what they would like to alert the competent and local authorities about. The column promotes the activity of citizens to pay more attention to their environment and for them to have the opportunity to speak out and to get a quick response from the competent authorities.

Target Group

The general public in the broadest sense. The target groups of this measure are primarily the readers of the local newspaper. More broadly, all citizens of the area of south eastern Slovenia.

Methodology

The method of this measure is a weekly column in the local newspaper. The tools are phone calls of readers and citizens, answered by competent authorities, and the activity of the journalist on duty.

Stakeholders

The stakeholders are:
Local authorities and competent individuals or organizations responsible for issues at stake.
Newspaper and journalists of Dolenjski list who are responsible for the column.

Assessment

The purpose and objectives of the columns are to give readers the opportunity to speak what they think, what they notice and what they would like to alert the competent and local authorities about. The column is promoting the activity of citizens to pay more attention to their environment and to have the opportunity to speak out and to get a quick response from the competent. The influence of the column “Halo, tukaj bralec Dolenjca” is a long term one that has, according to results of questionnaire, a great influence in the region of Dolenjska. Answers to almost all questions in the questionnaire suggest that most of the people think that the column has a positive influence in shaping the political, cultural, economic and social life of the region.

Impact

Thanks to the column citizens are given a voice and the opportunity to be heard. It also provides a quick response from the competent authorities and readers. It offers a fast reply, comment, feedback that relevant to the question and to the expressed opinion. The column encourages citizens to be more aware of what happens around them, to be more critical, to they think more about things and be reminded that they have the ability to deliver their opinion and to get a quick response from the competent authorities or if not from journalists or the media.

Swot

1. Strengths (characteristics of the measure that give it an advantage over others):
The column “Halo, tukaj bralec Dolenjca” is part of the newspaper “Dolenjski listi”, issued weekly, therefore it is very important source of information for the region of Dolenjska (SE Slovenija)
Dolenjski list has a long tradition and a wide pool of readers. Consequently it has a strong impact in shaping the cultural, political and social life of the region.
Dolenjski list also has a partly free online edition, which has strong competition and they don’t just compete, they also cooperate.
 
2. Weaknesses (characteristics that place the measure at a disadvantage relative to others)
Printed newspapers are in decline, and “Dolenjski list” is also part of this process. Although “Dolenjski list” still has a lot of readers, numbers are decreasing.
Only subscribers can read and comment on the column “Halo, tukaj bralec Dolenjca”
 
3. Opportunities (elements that the measure could exploit to its advantage):
The column “Halo, tukaj bralec Dolenjca” gives an opportunity to literally every citizen to express their opinion and drive the attention of the community to certain problems, make suggestions, etc.
The online edition has great potential for reaching out to different public and is an opportunity for the column to reach a new audience.
The credibility of the newspaper “Dolenjski list” gives an opportunity to the column to reach a substantial audience (opinion makers, decision makers…)
 
4. Threats (elements in the environment that could cause trouble to the measure):
Although the column “Halo tukaj bralec Dolenjca” has a long tradition, nowadays citizens of municipality can much easier express their opinion trough other social media (for example: Facebook, comments in online newspapers, twitter, etc.).
The online column “Halo tukaj bralec Dolenjca” is accessible only to subscribers and is therefore subject to a strong competition with free online media.
As mentioned before, printed newspapers are in decline

Subscribe Newsletter:

Subscribe to ALDA monthly newsletter, available in five languages - English, French, Italian, Serbian, and Russian

Office in Strasbourg

Council of Europe
1, avenue de l'Europe 
F-67075 Strasbourg - France

Phone: +33 3 90 21 45 93
Fax: +33 3 90 21 55 17
Email: aldastrasbourg@aldaintranet.org
General contact: alda@aldaintranet.org

Office in Brussels

Rue Belliard 20
Bruxelles 1040
Belgium
Public transportation: Metro, stop "Arts-Loi", lines 1, 2, 5, 6

Phone: +32 (0)2 430 24 08
Email: aldabrussels@aldaintranet.org

Office in Vicenza

Viale Milano 66
36100 Vicenza - Italy

Phone: +39 04 44 54 01 46
Fax: +39 04 44 23 10 43
Mail : aldavicenza@aldaintranet.org

 

 

Office in Skopje

Bld. Partizanski odredi 43B/1-5
1000 Skopje, Macedonia

Phone: +389 (0) 2 6091 060
Mail: aldaskopje@aldaintranet.org

Office in Subotica

Trg Cara Jovana Nenada 15
SRB-24000 Subotica - Serbia 

Phone: +381 24 554 587
Fax: +381 24 554 587