Radio Študent fighting for recognition of 3rd media sector in Slovenia

Radio Študent, one of the oldest independent non-profit community radio stations in Europe (established in Ljubljana in 1969), has launched a lobbying campaign addressing the draft proposal for the new Mass Media Act with the aim of achieving appropriate regulations for the status of community media in Slovenia.

Radio Študent (RŠ) is the only media platform of its kind in Slovenia, providing media space for minorities, various other social & interest groups, and communities. It has been a staunch defender of its mission to give voice to students and under-represented social groups for 51 years. Striving for promoting the values and importance of independent professional journalism for new generations has resulted in a community of over 200 program contributors and journalists in the fields of politics, music, culture, science and education, fostering a culture of critique, in-depth research and reporting, journalistic integrity, credibility and pluralism of opinions.

However, maintaining a non-profit community media outlet in Slovenia always been quite a challenge for Radio Študent since the Third Media Sector has never been fully recognised on a legislative level in Slovenia, leaving the radio with no appropriate systemic funding for its core activities.

Since the adoption of the European Parliament resolution on Community Media in Europe (A6-0263/2008), the Slovenian Government has failed to implement the recommendations of the EP to its Member States to recognise the existence of non-profit community media at the legislative level and to provide them with legal, material and other essential conditions needed for their smooth functioning.

In the beginning of July 2020, the Slovenian Ministry of Culture published a draft proposal of the new media legislation which contains no mention or particular regulation of the Third Media Sector. Radio Študent saw a unique opportunity to engage in the public discussion on the proposal in order to fully advocate on behalf of the Third Media Sector, to inform the professional and general public about its crucial role in the media landscape, and to emphasize the sector’s need for the appropriate regulation of the conditions under which it functions.

To efficiently engage in the public discussion, RŠ journalists produced an in-depth analysis including suggestions for amendments to the new Media Act and prepared a communication campaign (radio and social media) to gain public support for the regulation of the Third Media Sector. The goal was also to activate the entire sector and the professional public and to exert pressure on policy makers. Through all this Radio Študent is trying to reach its ultimate goal – a public recognition of the Third Media Sector and in particular the recognition of the existence of community media as a separate media category in the new Regulation and the provision of adequate structural support. By integrating the Third Media Sector and jointly addressing the policy makers Radio Študent is fighting to ensure long-term results which will empower this sector for further negotiations after the adoption of the new Mass Media Act in Slovenia.

Radio Študent https://radiostudent.si/

Non-Aligned – The Association of Free Community Media of the Third Media Sector: https://neuvrsceni.org/