There is an interesting study that documents and compares the past 10 years (2006-2016) of media in Slovakia (Struhárik, 2016). The years 2005/2006 were typical with rather booming Internet websites, although only a quarter of the population had access to the Internet at that time. Significantly, Nový Čas had double circulation than today (sold over 180,000 copies), while Sme had almost triple circulation than today (it sold over 75,000 copies). Hospodárske noviny noticed a decrease of its circulation by about one third in the last ten years (it sold over 18,000 copies in December 2006). One of the most popular private radio stations today, Jemné (then Jemné melódie), was established in 2006. In this context, it should be put on the record here that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video entered the Slovak market in 2016.
Political/ideological parallelism in Slovakia has rather unusual context. First, it is at a rather low and mostly non-transparent level, second, it is apparently emerging at a meta-level of the media-types as well as in online sector, and third, it is present more often (but still rarely) at an individual rather than at institutional levels. There is only one clearly ideologically self-defined newspaper, namely Pravda, while Sme and Denník N can be only indirectly identified as liberal-right newspapers. The leftist-nationalist parties and many of their voters see the key media as unfriendly at best.
Continuous decline of readership of newspapers, the financial crisis around 2009/2010 and a shift of audiences as well as advertising expenditures towards social media (and television) have lead to complete change in media ownership structures in the key printed media sector since 2014/2015. Similarly to other countries, the most important local media have been purchased by local conglomerates, often associated with oligarchic business methods. These large business groups have their vested interest (cross-selling of advertisements or business with the state, especially in regulated sectors such as healthcare) that question traditional watchdog functions of the media. Although there are still some foreign media houses, the majority of the most important print media (including one nationwide full-format television and one nationwide news television) are owned or co-owned by domestic companies or the company owned by a Czech businessman/politician of Slovak ethnic origin. The exception still is also TV Markíza which is owned by CME Slovak Holdings B.V. (USA owners).
Some answers to market and technological challenges can be seen in November 2016 public announcement of cooperation among newspaper Denník N and weekly .týždeň.
In other words, in the last ten years, the media sector as well as media audiences have undergone rather rapid changes in its communication tools (shift from traditional media to digital media and especially towards new social media), in its ownership structure (from foreign players to local actors), as well as in possible threats (from politics to market pressure). Yet politics is still not definitely a minor or irrelevant player in case of PSM. The political/public discussion throughout the year 2016 suggested that a minor coalition party, the Slovak National Party, would like to control the PSM. Some voices from the major coalition party, Smer-SD, including the prime minister, clearly raised dissatisfaction with the PSM. Ironically, both a survey among the general public and a survey among some local observers mentioned in the introduction supported a feeling of increased independent and more professional (more trusted) coverage of PSM (regardless of already discussed scandal in which the head of the news department of PSM was involved).
The journalism schools have responded to these transformations with some hesitation, and more under market (including demographic factor - decline in number of prospective students) and industry/political pressure rather than under the influence of any other factor such as pressure from parents of prospective students. Moreover, there is clearly an emerging research and educational specialisation of various journalism schools. This specialisation can be seen as more practically orientated (Academy of Media), or mixed, but with prevailing theoretical approaches (all others). In general, if the quality of research output is an indicator of the quality of teaching, which usually is indeed a correct relationship, then overall the quality of teaching of journalism is rather low.
We know very little about the journalists themselves. The available data are not trustworthy and are outdated. The organisations of journalists are either more preoccupied about internal minor issues rather than about more nation-wide issues (SSN), alternatively they are either very elitist (SSAEJ) or without any publicly visible activities (SAN).