TASR Posted Profit Despite Hardships Due to Coronavirus in 1H20

TASR Posted Profit Despite Hardships Due to Coronavirus in 1H20

Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – The News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR), a public-service agency, released almost 130,000 multimedia news stories in the first six months of 2020, including more than 70,000 texts, almost 50,000 photographs, some 3,000 videos and 7,000 audio files, while managing to post a profit, reads a report taken into consideration by the parliamentary culture and media committee on Wednesday.

“Events in the first half of 2020 confirmed the importance of strong news agencies that are able to guarantee quality and rapidly issued news, based on facts and clear sources,” said TASR general director Vladimir Puchala when presenting the report.

“Public interest in fact-based information from good sources was also confirmed by the viewership of the Teraz.sk news website, which had more than 1 million unique visitors in April, according to IABmonitor. Live broadcasts of press conferences on TABLET.TV had around 30,000 views each,” said Puchala.

Even though TASR’s customers have largely reduced the amount of products that they can afford to buy as a result of coronavirus-induced economic hardship, TASR posted a profit of around €65,500 in the first half of 2020.

Puchala noted that TASR in late June also acquired Teraz Media, which runs Teraz.sk and TABLET.TV, becoming its sole owner and eliminating the presence of private capital in the public-service media environment.

Independent MP Lubica Lassakova, a former culture minister, praised TASR for its Summer 2020 project, which promoted some of the lesser-known locations in Slovakia in recent months. “In general, TASR has again shown professionalism throughout the coronavirus period,” she said.

Another Independent MP, Tomas Taraba, asked about the anti-hoax project run by TASR in cooperation with Agence France Presse (AFP). “We distribute verified information from AFP, which we can use as a partner of the world’s third-largest news agency. We benefit from the fact that there’s a Slovak version, which focuses on information present in the Slovak online environment,” said Puchala.