Aargau government council does not want to present a media law

The Aargau government council does not currently want to draft a cantonal media law. Following the Swiss voters' No to the media package, too many questions remain unanswered at the federal level, according to the government council. The government and parliament had already rejected the demand in 2011.

The media are under pressure themselves: the Aargau government council does not currently want to draft a cantonal media law. (Archive photo: Keystone/Christian Beutler)

In particular, the central issue of direct and indirect media funding is open, writes the government council in its statement on Friday on a motion from the ranks of SP, Center, Greens, GLP, Greens and EVP.

"Any cantonal measures and instruments in this area would have to be mandatorily coordinated with national media policy or media legislation," the government council states.

He added that it was not possible to predict when reliable information and basic principles would be available on the design of any expanded federal media subsidies. The Swiss people rejected the media package in February with a No vote of 54.6 percent. In Aargau, the No vote was 60.31 percent.

Independent media

The motion demands that the canton draw up a media law. The cantonal constitution provides that the Grand Council may enact a media law "to promote the diversity of information".

The canton not only has a duty to inform itself, but it must also enable, support and promote the provision of information to the population via other, independent media service providers and channels, the motion states. The cantonal parliament had last rejected the demand for a cantonal media law in 2011.

Diverse reporting

The government council says it is aware that Aargau companies operating in the media industry also have to overcome major structural and economic challenges.

The digitization of communications is leading to a profound structural change: Advertising money has flowed away from traditional media to new forms of media such as social media, search engines and other online channels. The population also uses traditional media differently than in the past - or not at all.

Despite the fundamental changes, the classic-traditional media will continue to play an important role in regional journalism for the foreseeable future, as the government council notes.

They support national regulations that guarantee private media providers and SRG media the greatest possible independence and autonomy and, on the other hand, promote qualitatively convincing and quantitatively diverse local, regional and cantonal reporting.

The Public and Society Research Center (fög) at the University of Zurich is conducting a study or analysis of media diversity in Aargau next year. The government council is supporting this project with money from the Swisslos fund. (SDA)

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