RTVSLO, Slovenia’s national broadcaster, has found itself in financial trouble. The broadcaster that is used to select Slovenia’s Eurovision entry has not changed its license fee since 2012, which has resulted in financial challenges. As a result of this, a new budget has been proposed for RTVSLO: approximately 13 million euros.
This means that Slovenia is planning on reducing the role of their national broadcaster, thus reducing the information and education that is shared with the Slovenian population. The country will be suggesting changes to both the Mass Media Act and the Slovenia Press Agency Act. Furthermore, they have initiated a small period of 5 days for public discussion of the budget cuts. If the new budget is approved, Eurovision fans might have to prepare for the absence of Slovenia in the upcoming contests.
Reactions from European organizations
Slovenia’s plans for their media has caught the attention of several European organizations, including the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Noel Curran, General Director of the EBU, has spoken up about the issue, saying that:
“We are profoundly concerned about the future of public service broadcasting in Slovenia. We have written to the Slovenian authorities today to raise our concerns and ask them to provide more time for proper public discussion of the changes to funding to ensure all views can be heard.
RTVSLO is an important democratic institution which significantly contributes to democracy. It should be guaranteed adequate, stable and predictable funding to help it fulfill its important remit to society.”
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMA) back up Mr Curran. Both have spoken up about the importance of independence in the media. The organizations have requested that the Slovenian government extends the period for public opinions and that they refrain from decreasing RTVSLO’s budget.
Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Slovenia made its debut on the Eurovision stage as an independent nation in 1993, after winning Kvalifikacija za Millstreet and getting the right to compete. The artist to represent the country for the first time was 1X Band, who sang “Tih deževen dan”. They finished in 22nd with nine points.
Since then, Slovenia has competed 24 times overall as an independent nation. Previously, they have competed as Yugoslavia alongside: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia. As Yugoslavia, only four of the 27 entries were from Slovenia.
The country’s best results have been twice in seventh place. The first one was in 1995, thanks to Darja Švajger who sang “Prisluhni mi”. Meanwhile, the second of those came in 2001 with Nuša Derenda and “Energy”.
In 2020, Slovenia had selected Ana Soklič as their representative with the song ‘Voda’. Ana has been confirmed for Rotterdam 2021.
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