Fribourg State Council supports regional media

The Fribourg State Council wants to temporarily support the regional media in the canton on a selective basis. Among other things, the measures are intended to help strengthen the investment capacity of media companies with a view to digitization.

Medienförderung

The canton of Fribourg has a variety of media outlets that report on events from different perspectives, writes the State Council in a statement on Wednesday.

The State Council believes that this journalistic wealth is under threat due to the ongoing structural crisis in the media. The cantonal government does not question the fact that direct and indirect support for the media is provided almost exclusively at federal level.

However, as no new aid is planned at federal level in the short term, the State Council has submitted various proposals for contributions at cantonal level.

Investment aid

The aid offered by the cantonal government is indirect and limited in time to four years. All in all, the cantonal government expects the various measures to cost a maximum of CHF 3.75 million over the planned period.

The canton will support digitization projects of Fribourg's regional media up to a maximum of 30 percent of the actual investment amount. The State Council is considering a total amount of CHF 1.8 million as investment aid, as it writes further.

In addition, the canton will cover 50 percent of the subscription costs of the Fribourg media at the Keystone-SDA news agency - also for a period of four years.

The news agency with a German and a French-language service is an important working tool for all Fribourg media, which in particular allows the online news feeds to be revitalized, writes the State Council.

More media competence

Finally, the State Council also wants to promote media literacy among young people. As a first step, digital teaching materials to promote media literacy in schools will be put out to tender. Funds amounting to CHF 50,000 will be made available for this purpose.

Secondly, the State Council would like to strengthen the existing cooperation between schools and the regional media within the framework of educational projects. Funds amounting to CHF 50,000 or a total of CHF 200,000 are earmarked annually for this purpose.

At the end of November 2023, the cantonal government also announced that 18-year-olds would receive a free one-year digital subscription to a regional newspaper upon application to the canton. This measure still has to be approved by the Grand Council. The State Council estimates the costs for this at around CHF 900,000 for five years. (SDA)

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