Swiss press after No-Billag: "SRG remains a political construction site".

Commentators in the Swiss press see the No to the "No Billag" initiative as a strong commitment to state aid in the radio and TV sector. They consider a downsizing of SRG to be unavoidable. Their ideas differ on how this should happen.


Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

"The era of general-supply general-interest retailers financed by fees is coming to an end. The provision of bought-in series or the production of pure entertainment shows is becoming obsolete. An SRG should concentrate on politically and socially relevant information and the communication of culture. (...) The framework conditions must, of course, be set by politics. (...) Instead of bickering about the amount of fee income necessary for the SRG, one must first think about the performance mandate. (...) Central is the method of financing. Since the social basis for a budget tax is crumbling, it must be examined whether the money should come from the federal budget in the future."


"The result of the vote provides (...) no clear answers. (...) For years, SRG has been pursuing an aggressive expansion policy at the expense of private media and has become a giant with 17 radio stations, 7 TV stations, a broad online offering and a controversial advertising alliance. Now it wants to appear more modest. Finally! (...) The strength of the Swiss right of initiative is that citizens can take up issues that are neglected by the Federal Council and parliament. In the case of the SRG, politics had failed to set limits for it in time. Now the SRG itself has matured the insight to limit itself."


"A majority beyond all doubt has determined that SRG is indispensable for the formation of opinion, for linguistic diversity and for the cohesion of the country. (...) Saving money, slimming down, cutting the superfluous alone is not enough. Even a further reduction in fees would be, pardon the pun, too cheap. Switzerland faces a much more important question: Which costs for radio and television must be borne by the general public because they cannot be financed otherwise? (...) Whitewashing and covering-up PR is getting stronger, critical and enlightening reporting is getting weaker. But a strong democracy needs strong, financially powerful media - private as well as publicly financed."

Basler Zeitung:

"With the No vote, the fundamental questions are not off the table (...), namely what exactly public service is, by whom it is financed and how, and who receives the money. (...) SRG would have to (...) become a news agency for audiovisual content that can be used free of charge by everyone else, i.e. the private sector. (...) If all this does not happen after this vote (...) or only cosmetically, there will probably soon be another popular initiative questioning the financing of the SRG. (...) The media revolution is coming anyway, the question is only "

Northwestern Switzerland:

"It is time to refocus SRG on its core functions and to de-ideologize the debate. (...) Many parliamentarians, functionaries and media lobbyists would now prefer to have a fundamental debate about public service before getting down to the nitty-gritty. But this opportunity was already missed in the vote on the radio and television law almost three years ago. (...) The process must therefore be reversed. (...) First, significantly less money must flow. A narrower and more precise definition of the public service will then follow almost by itself."


"The private media (...) will be able to get back to normal and fulfill their mission. The starting position for our colleagues at SRG, however, is completely different. Although the No Billag initiative clearly failed at the ballot box, the SRG will have to tighten its belt due to the lowered fees alone. (...) Many who see the need for reform but reject the radical cut now expect concrete steps. (...) There is a need for reform, but also for education. (...) We live in a time of media concentration, and a further tightening would be an indictment."

Luzerner Zeitung / St. Galler Tagblatt:

"This is a cantering defeat, typical in our country of referendums calling for radical systemic change. The
The Swiss don't like revolutions. (...) The SRG needs guard rails so that it does not threaten media diversity and the provision of information across the country. The fact that state-affiliated companies should only offer those services that private companies could not provide just as well is an ironclad maxim in a market-based state. (...) It is up to the federal government to set clear guidelines here. to make. The Federal Council and the majority SRG-friendly parliament must set the course so that private media houses have breathing room."

"The fight to abolish radio and TV fees was ugly. And yet it moves the country forward. (...) Remains to SRG decision-maker these
Construction site now do not just leave and wait for new dirt to settle on the surface. You must now demolish what is no longer needed. And create new things where they are needed. (...) It is the strength of direct democracy that potential trouble spots are recognized earlier in our country than elsewhere. And that we thus have the chance to contain the fire before it brings the whole building down."

Le Temps:

"The result of the vote is devastating. (...) The challenge now is to find out what the Swiss intend to do with this and what the politicians and the SRG itself intend to do. (...) SRG promises to move to take up the criticism. (...) But at this point we are still far from a fundamental reform of the Swiss media system. (...) It will be interesting to see what becomes of the will when the discussion about a new distribution of fee income begins."

La Liberté:

"This victory is not that of SRG, but that of the general public, which has understood that a purely commercial television does not guarantee quality. (...) The current media context deserves a thorough discussion. Because, like the SRG, it is necessary for newspapers to have their role in the public service recognized."

Tribune de Genève:

"March 4 marks a break. Even though the citizens have refrained from abolishing SRG, they do not want to preserve it in its current form either. (...) SRG has a gigantic task ahead of it. (...) The entire Swiss media offering must not be disregarded. (...) The private press contributes just as much to the diversity of opinion and the formation of a public debate in its field." (Overview: SDA)

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)

More articles on the topic