Members of Slovakia’s parliamentary Media Committee have rejected plans to cancel the shortwave broadcasts of Radio Slovakia International (RSI) for financial reasons.
“I will speak to ministers and try to bring arguments explaining the importance of sustaining shortwave broadcasting of Radio Slovakia International”, said Slovak Radio director general Jaroslav Reznik after the Parliamentary Media Committee decided not to cancel the shortwave broadcasts as of July 1. MPs on the Media Committee are now asking the Culture and Finance Ministers to secure financing for RSI. According to the director of the Slovak Radio, shortwave broadcasting is the most effective way to promote Slovakia abroad. The vice chairman of the Media Committee described the possible cancellation of the international service as absurd during the time of SlovakiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s EU entry.
Last year, RSI received over 71 million Crowns, including 46 million allocated for the shortwave transmissions. But Slovak Radio no longer has its own budgetary chapter, which used to include a specific funding allocation for Radio Slovakia International. Under a new law, RSI is now supposed to be financed by a state order.
RSI claims a worldwide audience of 150,000. The station says that if it stopped its international broadcasts on shortwaves, there would be about 20,000 left to listen via the Internet and satellite receivers.