Rusyns handed over a Petition aimed at solving problems in Rusyn radio broadcasting

The Never-Ending Problem of Rusyn Radio Broadcasting


Rusyns handed over a Petition aimed at solving problems in Rusyn radio broadcasting

• On May 13th, 2008 Fedor Vico, the Chairman of the Petition Committee (on the left) handed over a Petition of Citizens, Listeners of Rusyn Broadcasting on Slovak Radio to D. Čaplovič, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Human Rights and Minorities (second from the right). This petition had been signed by 3 406 people who, in this way, expressed their discontent over the present state of the broadcasting. Consequently, F. Vico and P. Krajňák Jr. (on the right) lead a constructive discussion with D. Čaplovič and M. Jančulová, the Head of the Department for Human Rights and Minorities.


On May 13th, 2008, members of the Petition Committee handed over petition sheets with signatures of listeners of Rusyn broadcasting at the Government Office of the Slovak Republic with a request to improve the content quality of minority programmes and how the signal is broadcast. At the same time, they met with Dušan Čaplovič, the Deputy Prime Minister who is in charge of National Minorities.

At a press conference, Fedor Vico and Peter Krajňák Jr., members of petition committee, announced that the petition had been signed by 3 406 citizens.

„At the meeting, Mr Čaplovič promised to personally take an active role in trying to solve the technological issue of covering the Rusyn region with the Radio Patria signal. He also promised to call an extraordinary meeting of the Slovak Government Council for Minorities and representatives of Slovak radio to, in detail, discuss the issue of minority broadcasting not only on Slovak Radio but also Slovak Television. Mr Čaplovič’s announcement about establishing a detached branch in Prešov for Rusyn broadcasting editors also sounded promising,“ said Peter Krajňák Jr. at the very beginning of the discussion.

„Since November 1989, Rusyns have been permanently fighting for their rights in the area of radio broadcasting. Whether it was Bobok, Kallay, Tužinský, Rezník or Zemková, there was always someone to try and stop, restrict or change it. We could never influence these changes. Through the prism of saving finances such measures have always been taken which mostly affected the public service users – Rusyn listeners,“ Fedor Vico told journalists in a brief account of the past.

„Using the example of the enforcement of Rusyn rights, try and help to make sense of the cliché our politicians often use about the above-standard rights of minorities in Slovakia. Surely, it would be interesting to, in a complex way, judge the position of Rusyns or Slovaks in Hungary with the situation of Rusyns in Slovakia,“ Ján Lipinský challenged the journalists in attendance in a short contemplation.

At the press conference, other issues connected to minority broadcasting were mentioned. Now it is up to those in charge, radio leadership, the radio council, as well as the Slovak Government to immediately start solving these issues. It may seem paradoxical but, at the press conference, there was no representative of Slovak Radio.


• PhDr. Anna Plišková, Ph. D. in charge of governing the newly established Institute of Rusyn Language and Culture, University of Prešov

• Prof. RNDr. René Matlovič, Ph.D., the rector of the University of Prešov



The Never-Ending Problem of Rusyn Radio Broadcasting


At one of the recent meetings of the Coordination Committee of the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia, where I was invited, it was decided that the material regarding the comments on Rusyn radio broadcasting, which, in 2003 – 2005, I sent to the bodies and representatives in charge, will be assessed and, consequently, in the original or a shortened version supported and sent to the Radio Committee, the General Director of the Slovak Radio (SRo) and other people in charge.

I have to emphasise that a new structure of SRo broadcasting is due by the end of 2006. However, after it has been introduced and put in practice, it will be very difficult to push our demands forward. That is why it is necessary to deal with it as soon as possible.

I would also like to point out one of the comments I handed to Mr Vladimir Protivnak, the Chairman of the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia (RRS) on May 4th, 2006. It was a request for participation of Rusyns on the Radio Committee, as we have no opportunity to influence the composition of the programme or to comment on the matters as they happen. Others decide about us in our absence; and it can easily happen that in the future we will not be present at all!

I would also like to reiterate that the Slovak Radio broadcasts advertisements about the sale of the former building of the SRo on Bastova Street in Prešov. I am asking the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia in cooperation with other Rusyn organisations to pronounce their interest in the building. Apart from Rusyn broadcasting (after it has moved back from Kosice), it could, in the future, function as the residence of the Alexander Dukhnovich Theatre, the Rusyn Museum, the RRS, Rusyn editorial offices, the World Congress of Rusyns, etc.

If, at the following meeting of the Coordination Committee of the RRS, a RRS Media Committee is constituted, I am ready to accept membership in it if I am nominated  as a member.

I proclaim that soon I will put together a Petition Committee (which I was the Head of in 2001), so that we could, in this way, support our demands with regard to the Radio, which has, for quite a long time, been ignored by the leadership of the Slovak Radio and the Radio Committee...


Fedor VICO,

former Chairman of the Petition Committee for the Rusyn Radio Broadcasting

(Edited and Shortened by A. Z., the complete article entitled „Nekonečnyj problem rusîn´skoho rozhlasovoho vysylaňa“ (The Never-Ending Problem of the Rusyn Broadcasting) can, in the Rusyn version, be found on our website, in the column ROZHLAS (RADIO).)

October 25th, 2006