SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

SRTV, STVR

THE WORLD of Slovak acronyms is about to get a new prominent member. The trouble is that, as yet, no one seems to know exactly what it will be.

THE WORLD of Slovak acronyms is about to get a new prominent member. The trouble is that, as yet, no one seems to know exactly what it will be.

Culture minister Daniel Krajcer announced plans to merge Slovak Television and Slovak Radio, but failed to say whether the result will be SRTV (Slovak Radio and Television) or STVR (Slovak Television and Radio).

The ambiguity complicates the work of journalists, who struggle to find a good name for the new institution, trying things such as “telerádio”, “telerozhlas”, or even trying “supermédium”. Something easier, like a BBC or PBS, would help.

The expectations aren’t high. After all, we are talking about a politician whose Sloboda a Solidarita (Freedom and Solidarity) party just barely escaped being known as “SS”, convincing the public to use “SaS” instead.

This way the party can be confused with Scandinavian Airlines, a global software firm, the British Special Air Service, or Saatchi&Saatchi, where party co-founder Juraj Miškov worked before getting into politics. But still better than the Schutzstaffel.

It is also true that the two institutions being united don’t have the best of acronyms right now. STV sounds fine, although it is not nearly as sexy as the Hungarian public broadcaster’s “MTV” (Magyar Televízió).

But Slovenský Rozhlas faced tough competition for the “SR” abbreviation by no smaller a rival than the Slovak Republic itself. And it lost, having to settle for the rather unconventional SRo.

But if Krajcer wants the public to identify with his plan, he needs to give it a name they can connect with. Let’s hope his failure to do so right at the beginning doesn’t reflect a more general lack of concept, because the public media need drastic reform – ASAP.


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