Indicator history

Close Window

Media: Frequency and relevance of hate speech incidents in public life (and media) and media representations against migrants and minorities?

Key Area:
Public Life, Culture, Sport & Media
16/01/2012 - 22:03
Short Answer

Hate speech incidents in public life are quite frequent,  targeting mostly ethnic and sexual minorities, often  in connection with the issues raised in political debate. Since recently, hate speech incidents on the Internet are considered more relevant and as such addressed more systematically by various institutions.

Qualitative Info

Hate speech incidents in public life in Slovenia have been most often generated through political debate, especially when the situation and rights of certain minority are subject of political decision-making. The media are providing space for confrontations of political views in a way to legitimate discriminatory discourse and hate speech. They are also sometimes, especially some media outlets and some media professionals, engaged in reproduction of stereotypes and racial profiing of minorities in own assessments, analysis and commentaries.

Most often target of hate speech in public life are Roma, national minorities from other republics of former Yugoslavia (Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats etc.), including the erased residents, but also Muslims, gay and lesbians etc.

The situation of Roma and the attempts to introduce measures to provide their participation in pubic life, integration and better living conditions have been challenged by certain political groups, local activists and media advocates in a way to generate hate speech and even violence. The Roma have been often represented as a problem and a threat for the social, economic and cultural order. It has been especially the case when Roma families try to settle in certain local environment or when neighbouring residents complain about them and make efforts to remove them from the area. The case of eviction of Roma family from their village in Ambrus in 2006 was one of such cases in which hate speech was generated and negative portrayal of Roma provided by political, local and media actors.

The erased residents of Slovenia (belonging to other nations of former Yugoslavia) have been often object of hate speech and negative potrayal (presented as a threat for national security) when the regulation of their status was on political agenda.  In connection with the adoption of urban plan in Ljubljana which provides location for building the mosque, the Muslims have been target of hate speech by various groups and speakers.

For analyses of hate speech and intolerance in Slovenia the notion of "Non-Slovenians" (Neslovenci) and "Southerns" (južnjaki) is very relevant since for decades it implies meanings of inferiority and primitivism and is associated with national minorities from former Yugoslavia. Most recently, after the December 2011 parliamentary elections in which a political party led by a politician whose ethnic background is partly in Serbia gained the biggest support, the racial potrayal of the voters belonging to national minorities from former Yugoslavia (to whom attributes of inferiority and primitivism were associated) was published on the web site of the one of the biggest  parties which led the government in 2004-2008.

At the same time, there is number of public voices arising from liberal political groups, academic institutions, civil society organisations and the media organisations which have been responsive and critical to hate speech in public life in Slovenia.


"Media represetations of minorities", a chapter by Roman Kuhar in the book Media for Citizens, Peace Institute (Media Watch), Ljubljana, 2006, Date of access: 15.1.2012.

"Balancing the Roma voice : the Ambrus drama and media construction of intercultural dialogue in Slovenija" by Ksenija H. Vidmar, Julija Sardelic and Miro Samardzija, in Balancing the Roma voice : the Ambrus drama and media construction of intercultural dialogue in Slovenia, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, 2008.

Hate Speech in Slovenia, by Tonči Kuzmanić, Open Society Institute - Slovenia (Media Watch), Ljubljana, 1999, Date of access: 15.1.2012.

We About the Roma, by Karmen Erjavec, Sandra B. Hrvatin and Barbara Kelbl, Open Society Institute - Slovenia (Media Watch), Ljubljana, 2000, Date of access: 16.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2002, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2003, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2004, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2005, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

The Scars of the Erausre, eds. Neža Kogovšek and Brankica Petković, Peace Institute, 2010, Date of access: 15.1.2012.

Groups affected/interested Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, National minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Islamophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Nationalism, Homophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Media, Internet
External Url