ŠOU threatens to suspend RŠ funding

6. 1. 2021 - 11.05

On its evening meeting on December 30th, 2020 the newly elected Student Assembly of the Student organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) discussed the 2021 draft budget which no longer includes co-financing of Radio Student (RŠ). The Assembly had recently changed the rules relating to ŠOU’s financing which in their new version do not even provide for the minimum percentage as regards the concession fees-based financing of the activities of the institutes of the Student organisation family.

It is worth noting that during the epidemic Radio Študent took great efforts in adapting to new circumstances and managed to successfully complete all ongoing projects and even enhance the programme, including special media coverage of the covid-19 pandemic. Even so Radio Študent was put in a disadvantaged position and pulled the shortest straw in 2020 compared with the other members of the Student organisation family. The financial support has been diminishing for almost a decade; the amount of 230 000 EUR earmarked for the Radio in 2012 grew gradually smaller with the result that last year RŠ received only 120 000 EUR of financial support for its regular activities. We can assume that with the draft budget proposed by ŠOU at the very end of 2020 the future prospects for Radio Študent will be very grim, much grimmer than those of all the other members of the ŠOU family, although RŠ was not the only one that suffered disproportionately.

ŠOU’s draft budget for 2021 which went through first reading in the Student Assembly is almost 3 000 000 EUR. The most striking disproportion concerns the Student campus, which according to this proposal will be allocated 325 000 EUR from the concession fees in 2021. It is our conviction that we are not the only ones interested in knowing what activities are planned in the Student campus this year and what they have been doing since the start of the epidemic considering that they radically reduced their activities, which Radio Študent did not.

We are also convinced that the disproportionally low funding that RŠ received from ŠOU last year has been put to better use than the millions spent for salaries, meeting fees and closed ŠOU institutes. We therefore demand that our radio station is allocated at least 120 000 EUR in 2021 which would be proportionate with the budget that has been understandably reduced due to the pandemic. We are also in favour of maintaining the minimum rates of funding for the institutes of the ŠOU family. Furthermore we demand that Radio Študent is included in all the discussions regarding its uncertain future.

Radio Študent is faced with a survival challenge which is unprecedented in the 50-year history of this institute that has been playing an important and unique media, educational and cultural role, also at the European level, and which at the moment employs more than 200 young part time co-workers, who create 17 hours of live programme daily. Radio Študent’s resiliency in carrying out its educational mission is proved by 50 new colleagues that join us every year. The actuality of this activism is corroborated by the record number of young people enrolled in RŠ auditions at the end of last year (about 200 students enrolled in training in editorial departments and editorial services at RŠ). An above average number of currently renowned academics, scientists, businessmen, politicians gained their experience at RŠ; today active successful presenters, radio and TV anchors, cultural producers and managers made their bones at RŠ. Last but not least our editor Zarja Muršič received an award by the Slovenia Journalist Association for outstanding journalistic achievements in her covering of the covid-19 epidemic. Or, if we borrow the words of the renowned Slovenian radio presenter Jure Longyka from last autumn: “Radio Študent is an achievement of civilization. To lose it would be a defeat of civilization.”

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Prazen radio ne stoji pokonci! Podpri RŠ in omogoči produkcijo alternativnih, kritičnih in neodvisnih vsebin.

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