Professional development

There is no precise statistics available as to how many journalists there are in Slovakia. This is by and large related to the non-existence of a legally binding definition of a journalist. For example, Brečka (2010) estimated that the number of journalists was more than 3,000 in 2010. Školkay, Hong and Kutaš (2011, p.53) estimated this number possibly as high as 5,000. Depending on the definition of a journalist and the period in question, the correct number can be somewhere in between or even higher than the highest estimate (see below). For example, TV anchors (though not broadcasting or publishing anything original), commentators and even spokespersons can be seen as journalists, while cameramen or other technical staff members are usually not considered as journalists even by themselves.

Neither are available reliable studies about journalists themselves. For example, Brečka´s (2010) study, although extensive, was non-representative, based on only 139 questionnaires returned (and in any case, it is already outdated). Slovakia is not part of Worlds of Journalism Study Project either.

However, we can indirectly identify where journalists work, based on available statistics. For example, the Ministry of Culture runs a database of registered publications. This database counts  11 daily newspapers, including one online-only and two  in foreign languages (Slovak Daily News, Buongiorno Slovacchia - Italian daily with originally planned weekly supplement in English).

The database of the Ministry of Culture includes 650 journals for the general public (eg newspaper published by municipalities), almost 500 magazines for the general public and over 650 magazines for special groups of readers (eg Acta Physica Slovaca). We can assume that this list (possibly without “journalists“ working for magazines dedicated to special groups of readers) may represent as many as 2,500 journalists working for print media.

In addition, there are TV and radio stations. The Annual Report of the Broadcasting Board for 2015 suggests that there were 36 licences for analogue radio broadcast (and additional 14 for digital radio broadcast) as well as 76 licences for terrestrial analogue TV broadcast (and additional 141 for digital TV broadcast). Not all licence holders actually broadcasted, and not all licence holders produced its own television or radio programmes. One can estimate that there are perhaps 350 radio journalists and perhaps 500 TV journalists in smaller local and regional channels/stations. In addition, PSM RTVS employs about 1,000 (perhaps 130-150 can be counted as journalists), TV Markíza about 250 (perhaps 50 are journalists), TV Joj has around 200 employees (perhaps 40 are journalists), TA3 employs around 70 staff. There are some unregistered online media and journalists too.

In total, there may be indeed between 3,000 and 4,000 journalists and quasi-journalists working in Slovakia.