D-day of the first phase of the war for a stable financing of Radio Študent

Oddaja
13. 1. 2021 - 16.45

Tomorrow, January 14th 2021, is D-day of the first phase of the war for a stable financing of Radio Študent: members of the Student Assembly of the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) are going to decide about the financing of Radio Študent.

„We did not fight for this“ could be the answer of Radio Študent to the member group Modri, led by Klemen Petek, the president of ŠOU, which together with the group Povezani forms the government coalition ŠOU. With the amendment to the draft financial plan of ŠOU submitted by the student member group Modri the funding of Radio Študent would be added in the budget but only in the amount of 50 000 EUR which is more or less the annual salary of ŠOU's director. In order to assure a smooth operation in 2021 Radio Študent needs at least 120 000 EUR. Contrary to the allegations of ŠOU the foreseen revenues from the concession fees from which Radio Študent and other ŠOU institutes are financed are not lower than last year's.

The life or death of Radio Študent continues to be fought for in the trenches of the debased practices of ŠOU's student organising. It is good to remember that everything started shortly before new
year's eve 2020 when on the evening session of the newly elected Student Assembly of the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) following the initiative of the newly appointed
ŠOU's presidency the budget line for Radio Student was erased - without any previous communication with Radio Študent and by misleading of the Student Assembly (further detailes were
given on Radio Student Monday's press conference). On the 5th of January - the second working day of 2021 – we had a meeting with ŠOU's leaders who threatened to sell Radio Študent to the best bidder and offered us financial compensation for positive reporting about ŠOU. Such manoeuvres were known to us from the past. We want to stress here that we don't attribute responsibility for the resulting situation to the Student Assembly but to the well oiled voting machine that stands behind it.

It is urgent to stress again and again that ŠOU does not distribute its own money, but public money that serves to implement the interests of the students and of the public, and that we at Radio Študent
are committed to our mission and are uncompromisingly fighting for it since we were created during the student revolts in the years 1968-1969. The efforts for the continuation of the existence of Radio Študent have now transcended into further assessing of the purpose of the existence of the current forms of student organizing and of the targeted use of public resources – also owing to numerous letters of support from relevant academic organisations, scientific and research institutions, student communities, trade unions organisations and other civil society organisations.

We are convinced, and we are not alone in this, that this long-standing financial malnutrition of Radio Študent on the part of ŠOU reflects an utter lack of understanding of the role and meaning of independent media and a critical civil society for a sound functioning of democratic society of which students are a critical component. We are certain that with the commercialisation and cessation of the financing of Radio Student the student community would be deprived of one of the essential emancipatory leverages of contemporary society - the right to information and communication that is not burdened by narrow political and commercial interests and that as such contributes to the shaping of an informed basis for the enhancement of critical thinking.

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