Albert Rösti expresses concern about developments in the media

The Federal Council can only shape the framework conditions for the media. Publishers and media professionals alone remain responsible for the content. Federal Councillor Albert Rösti said this at the Swiss Media Forum. However, the journalistic craft has suffered in recent times. Journalists should not be production machines.

Federal Councillor Rösti at the Swiss Media Forum on Friday. (Image: SMF/Severin Bigler)

"The media are under pressure, and as media minister I am concerned about this development," said Rösti on Friday at the Swiss Media Forum in Lucerne. Media policy is a key issue for him - "it is about nothing less than the democratic core of our country".

The media are the basis for well-informed citizens. Media are good when they offer quality, said Rösti. This means that they "convey and categorize solid facts in a cultivated language and in an exciting way".

However, this journalistic craft has suffered somewhat recently due to the economic pressure. He certainly has sympathy for media professionals and experiences them very closely in the Federal Palace. However, if they are not only expected to write, but also to photograph, film, edit clips and record podcasts - then the journalist is a "production machine". And "that doesn't always go well".

New rules for AI and digitalization

The Federal Council is following both digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) very closely. New regulations are needed in both fields. With regard to AI, it is in close contact with the EU. It is important that measures for greater truth content and transparency can also be introduced in Switzerland in good time. Rösti said that he was aware "that everything I am telling you here is still very vague".

For Rösti, the framework conditions that the Federal Council can shape for the media include promoting the Keystone-SDA news agency as well as education and training. He also referred to several pending postulates and parliamentary initiatives.

"An inviolable good"

The SRG halving initiative was also a topic once again. As is well known, the Federal Council rejects the reduction of fees to CHF 200. According to Rösti, it would have "too far-reaching consequences for democracy, culture and society". He intends to present the decision on his proposal for a reduction to CHF 300, which has been submitted for consultation, before the summer vacations. This means that parliament could deal with it in the second half of the year.

However, the Federal Council is only concerned with the framework conditions for all support measures, said Rösti. "Publishers and media professionals will remain solely responsible for content in the future." The independence of the media is and remains a valuable and inviolable asset. (SDA/swi)

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