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Rebellion of the creators of Radio Slovenia programs: We no longer trust the management of RTV Slovenia, so we express our distrust of it! Will the EBU come forward now as well or will it tuck its tail between its legs and stay silent?

by Janja Strah

The General Manager and the management of RTV Slovenia received a serious slap in the face. The creators of the national radio programs expressed distrust of them in the letter.

Today, the creators of Radio Slovenia sent a letter to the Program Council of RTV Slovenia, at the end of which they wrote: »We no longer trust the management of RTV Slovenia, so we express our distrust of it.« The letter was signed by: Peter Kosmač, President of the Trade Union of Cultural and Artistic Creators of RTV Slovenia; Matej Venier, Editor-in-Chief of the Ars Program; Ingrid Kovač Brus, culture editor; Gregor Pirš, editor of the program for serious music; Tomaž Gerden, editor of the Editorship of Religion and Faiths; Eva Longyka Marušič, editor of the Editorship of the feature program; Lydia Hartman, radio moderator; Simeona Rogelj, president of the Coordination of Journalists’ Unions of RTV Slovenia.

In their letter to the program councilors, the staff of the Radio Slovenia news program strongly opposes the changes introduced by the radio management and calls on the councilors to stop the changes. Employees are particularly opposed to shortening and canceling some shows. Namely, the management of the radio intends to cancel the shows Prva jutranja kronika (First Morning Chronicle) and Danes do trinajstih (Today until 1 pm) on Saturdays, and during the week Zrcalo dneva (Mirror of the Day) on Val 202. Also, at certain hours, the Reports on the First Program are canceled, and the so-called traditional names of the First and Second Morning Chronicles are changing. It is also planned to move the Radijski dnevnik (Radio Diary) to 6.30 pm.

The creators further oppose the announced significant reduction in the share of professional speakers in news broadcasts. »There is no doubt that the highest level of spoken language on national radio will be reduced, while at the same time the general restriction of the meaning and status of speakers will increase,« they wrote. Employees also strongly oppose the announced automation of the Third Program – the Ars Program, saying that this is a step in the wrong direction with long-term consequences that will not contribute much to savings.

Employees therefore expect the program council to:

  1. immediately stop the process of automating the Ars evening program;
  2. immediately remove an item from the agenda of the session which provides for the consideration of the Program Production Plan for 2021;
  3. and to convene an extraordinary session immediately, at which a thorough discussion of the proposed changes will be held on Radio Slovenia.

In fact, this is the part of the RTV Slovenia program for which taxpayers are primarily forced to pay the RTV fee. And the management of RTV Slovenia is cutting exactly this part of the program.

Response to the writing, published on the website demokracija.si:

In the article entitled »Rebellion of the creators of Radio Slovenia programs: We no longer trust the management of RTV Slovenia, so we express our distrust of it! Will the EBU come forward now as well or will it tuck its tail between its legs and stay silent? ”, published on 28 November 2020 on the website demokracija.si  the author Janja Strah conceals quite a few key information distorting the overall picture of RTV Slovenia operation. Therefore, we must provide further explanations that significantly supplement the statements in the published text.

This article only summarizes the content of the Letter from the creators of the Radio Slovenia programmes, but does not provide complete information such as that the letter was signed by only a few employees – the editors of the ARS programme which is only one of the several programmes of Radio Slovenia, and presidents of two Unions (Coordination of the journalists’ unions of RTV Slovenia and the Cultural and Artistic Union of RTV Slovenia).

All the signatories, except the two union representatives, later withdrew their signatures in the part of the letter that refers to the vote of no trust in the management! The question of possible changes in the length of the automated broadcast remains open, but the coordination on that matter between the director of Radio Slovenia and the editorial board is already underway. Director general is also involved in the talks. Furthermore, the Union of journalists of Radio Slovenija expressed their disagreement with the letter and instead suggested further clarification of the issue.

The letter also provoked a response from members of Radio Slovenia’s Editorial Boards, who opposed the allegations in the letter and supported the management. They emphasized that the letter expressed the opinion of a minority, which was legitimate, but the majority did not agree with it. They also added that due to their professional attitude and achievements, the management of RTV Slovenia enjoys their full trust. The planned program changes, including the changes in News programme, represent an improvement for the programmes and Radio Slovenia as a whole, while not lowering professional standards in any way.

RTV Slovenija

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