Press council rejects Bombardier's complaint against "Rundschau

The Press Council has rejected a complaint by train manufacturer Bombardier against SRF's political magazine "Rundschau". The magazine had reported in May 2019 on deficiencies in the production of the new SBB long-distance trains.

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The "Rundschau" relied heavily on photos from the end of 2017, which documented damage such as broken cables or loose screws. In addition, anonymous employees raised accusations against their employer: there was a lack of expertise, work was done improperly, and even necessary tools were missing. They were therefore concerned about the long-term safety of these trains.

The "Rundschau" confronted the manufacturer with these serious accusations on a Friday morning. Bombardier let almost two working days (plus a weekend) pass for the answer. On the day before the broadcast, Bombardier then complained that there was not enough time to view the documents seriously. Without having seen the photos and quotes of the insiders, Bombardier finally sent a written statement to the "Rundschau".

Bombardier claimed to the Press Council that the "Rundschau" had reported untruthfully and had violated its duty to consult. According to the train manufacturer, SRF had not mentioned the correct production phase of the damaged trains. The superimposed images would show damage to test trains in the process of refitting.

The Press Council did not consider the duty of truth to have been violated because the "Rundschau" was able to substantiate its allegations. The duty to hear Bombardier was also not violated. The manufacturer had been aware of the details of the accusations at an early stage and had had the opportunity to counter them precisely. However, the company had refrained from doing so. However, the "Rundschau" was admonished that it would have been desirable to question the damage pictures and to name the phases of production more precisely to the viewers.

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