His panel contribution focused on the re-establishment of a community radio MARŠ. Curious about the specifics of Slovenian approach and his views on the proper way to run a student media, we asked Marko Ivanišin to provide us with a short interview.
In your speech, you said that MARŠ (Mariborski radio študent) is a community radio. What is the difference between student and community media?
The Slovenian law knows three types of media with a special status: student media, local media and regional media. It is established that in order to qualify as a student radio, two thirds of its employees need to be students. That brings about certain advantages such as government co-funding.
Was MARŠ never a student radio despite its name, then?
It started as one in 1990 – being the first independent radio in Slovenia. It had links to University of Maribor, but soon there were not enough students to fulfill the set criteria.
You were talking about the radio’s financial problems. How to save it?
At the critical point, the University of Maribor where I work, offered to take it over. But people from MARŠ declined this offer because they feared it would get commercionalized with advertising, popular music etc. I was appointed by the dean as a link between the radio and the university to discuss the issue and evolve the project.
What lies ahead in the future?
Given the extent of debt MARŠ is in and the cuts in the university’s budget, the university decided to focus on the creation of a new radio. It should merge two branches which are in my view the key to success: making use of the strong local music production which longs for a public broadcast with a strong educational aspect (providing trainings and seminars to the participants in exchange for a vow of time-limited exclusivity). This radio should also significantly enhance the ‚sound‘ production of the university’s Department of Media.