Salzburg needs Radiofabrik
RADIOFABRIK is the largest community radio in western Austria, and perceives itself as the broadcasting station, with the largest diversity of opinion, in the province of Salzburg. Open access, media-related education, regional cover and international networking, are conceptual parts of the activities of Radiofabrik.
THE communication media of Salzburg is produced by the people of Salzburg, for the people of Salzburg.
In 2008 RADIOFABRIK celebrated its 10th anniversary, and exhibited its successful achievements, both on the level of programme-making and on the level of management. It is by far Austria’s most award winning community radio – Radiofabrik received six media awards in 2008 alone.
However, at the same time, there is a huge lack of funding for the radio station. In the past Radiofabrik could guarantee broadcasting, only because of working on risky EU-projects. This has resulted in, a constant threat to the job safety of the Radiofabrik staff, and a constant threat to broadcasting, and organisational activities.
Now in 2009, the existence of RADIOFABRIK is seriously threatened. There have already been workforce reductions, as former employees were not replaced by new personnel. There are no funds available for repairs or reinvestment. This does not provide an encouraging environment, in which to produce successful work.
The European parliament, has called on the member states, to provide more funds, for community media, as it is a vital part of a wide reaching media landscape. Applied to Austria, this means first of all, the official acceptance of non-commercial, private broadcasting as an independent sector of the media system. Furthermore it means licensing, and financially backing community radio and community television stations. Now it is time, for the local, state and federal governments, to meet the requirements of the EU. It is time to develop basic conditions and mechanisms, to secure the existence of media like Radiofabrik.
Despite intense efforts, and lengthy negotiations, neither the municipal subsidies for 2010, nor the provincial subsidies for 2009, could be significantly increased. It is unreasonable, that the state government of Salzburg, makes no effort to support Radiofabrik: On the one hand, the federal state of Salzburg, levies more than 6 million Euros, (about 1/3 of the radio and television licence fee of Salzburg), as a so called „federal state media tax“ without dedicating the money to media-related areas. On the other hand, the federal state has no substantial media subsidy programme. The present system is a threat to the existence of Radiofabrik.
I ask the politicians of the federal state of Salzburg, to secure the existence of Radiofabrik by the following actions:
1. Provide a substantial subsidy for 2009 from the federal state of Salzburg, to equal the subsidy from the city of Salzburg = 52.000 Euros
2. Provide a mid-term agreement, on a reasonable level of subsidy, from the federal state of Salzburg
3. Provide financing by an „alternative funding media concept of the federal state“. Consisting of funds from the federal state media tax, arranged in a consensus across all parties, as an impulse for a forward-looking, innovative, diverse and non-commercial, regional media-landscape as from 2010.