Third’s a charm

Call for proposals: Micro or “rapid response” projects
Project duration: 17 Aug 2020–16 Oct or until a parliamentary vote on the bill
Project budget: 5,000 EUR

In the draft amendment to the Media Act prepared by the Ministry of Culture, the legislators did not specifically define the third media sector, i.e. the non-commercial and non-state sector. On the other hand, the EU resolutions and declarations aim to unify the media that make up the so-called third media pillar. In September 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on community media in Europe. In February 2009, the Council of Europe signed a declaration on the role of community media in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue. However, these declarations and recommendations clearly have no impact on the decisions of the legislators in the nation states.

The main goal of this project is to let the public know why the regularization of the third media sector's legislative status is in the public interest. So our first step will be to run a comprehensive communication campaign that will help us gain public support needed to achieve amendments and additions to the new Media Act. In addition to its specific democratic organization and non-profit activities, the third media sector covers topics that are not represented in the Slovenian mainstream media. Community media – a major part of the third media sector – promotes intercultural dialogue and strengthens media pluralism by providing various minorities, marginalized social groups and subcultures with access to media.

As part of the project, we will prepare an analysis of the current situation and put forward proposals for amendments. By doing this we will provide decision-makers with guidelines for legal solutions. At the same time we will undertake communication activities to gain strong support from the general and professional public. We will carry out the communication campaign via radio, public debates and social networks. By presenting examples of good practice from abroad, we will inform the public about possible legislative solutions to ensure adequate structural support for community media.

In the long term, both the community media and the general public will benefit from the regulation of the third media sector status, since one of the main guidelines of non-commercial and independent media is the defense of freedom of speech and autonomous journalism serving the public interest.

Contact person: Bojan Stefanović

Project promoter: Radio Študent Institute