No state support for Freiburg media

The Fribourg State Council rules out structural aid for the press. The executive draws its conclusion from a report that analyzes the state of the local media and suggests ways to secure the current offering in the long term.

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"Independent media are essential for the good functioning of a democracy," said State Council President Olivier Curty in an interview published Sept. 17, 2022, in the daily newspaper La Liberté appeared. "However, the canton has neither the constitutional nor the legal basis to introduce direct aid," added the Minister of Economy.

This did not prevent the canton from supporting the media during the Covid crisis, the minister said. In his opinion, measures should be adopted at the federal level. Classical media are "very much an essential element for the good functioning of a democracy, but only if they are consulted".

The report, which is based on a study, stems from a postulate by two left-wing deputies that was adopted just under a year ago. The study mentions two possibilities in particular: the promotion of innovations and the establishment of a round table. The Keystone-SDA news agency is also excluded from possible support.

The publication of the 14-page report sparked disappointment in the canton's media industry on Friday. Serge Gumy, publisher of La Liberté, La Gruyère, Le Messager and La Broye, found the report at the request of La Gruyère "solid and in line with the economic reality of the Freiburg media".

He expressed disappointment, however, at the lack of concrete solutions. "The State Council is relying on the federal government, while federal aid is currently stalled," he said. The report will soon be presented to the Fribourg Grand Council. (sda.)

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