Ringier CEO Marc Walder defends himself against criticism

The head of the Ringier media group, Marc Walder, is defending himself against accusations that his company is reporting too close to the state in the pandemic. One statement on the subject was worded in a misleading way, he said in interviews with the NZZ and Radio SRF on Tuesday.

Marc Walder
Ringier CEO Marc Walder defends himself against the accusations of Nebelspalter. (Image: Archive)

From the very beginning, Ringier had taken the Corona pandemic seriously and supported the protective measures, Walder said in the SRF program "Heute Morgen. However, one had not reported uncritically.

Walder reacted to the publication of a video by the satirical magazine Nebelspalter at the weekend. In the recording made almost a year ago at a business meeting, Walder said he had urged Ringier Group editors to support the government's policy of measures.

"That was a mistake," Walder now clarified to the NZZ. The video does not adequately reflect his position. Of course, Ringier does not tell the government what it wants to hear. The media have an overriding responsibility in the pandemic.

The background to the controversy is the vote on the package of measures to promote the media on February 13. Opponents of the bill warn against "state media" - the No committee also includes Nebelspalter-author Philipp Gut represented.

The bill calls for the federal government to provide more financial support for media companies. The biggest financial chunk is the indirect press subsidy, which is simply a delivery allowance for newspapers and magazines. It is to increase from 50 million francs a year today to 120 million francs a year within seven years.

Direct contributions from the federal government are earmarked for Swiss online media, namely CHF 30 million annually. More money from the radio and TV licence fee is to go to private radio and TV stations, but also to the Keystone-SDA news agency and to the training of media professionals. (SDA)

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