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Complaints commission Trump keeps Swiss media experts on their toes

Arena discussion show on SRF television with five panelists and audience

The Arena programme on the German-language SRF public broadcaster was the source of many complaints 


The number of complaints filed against programmes by Switzerland’s national, regional and local broadcasters reached a 25-year high last year.

The communications ministry said 31 protests were lodged with the Independent Complaints Authorityexternal link, - more than 60% up on the previous year, but only two were upheld by the board of experts.

Most of them concerned TV programmes by the German-language public broadcaster, SRF, but there were also an increasing number of complaints about online content, according to a statement published on Tuesday.

A record number of 881 complaints were lodged with the Swiss ombudsman’s offices, which try to mediate before a case is taken to the board.

Media policy

A controversial panel discussion about the media policy of United States President Donald Trump in February 2017 prompted eight official protests.

The nine-member authority was set up in 1984 to determine whether any rule violations have been committed. Since 2016, complaints can also be filed against online content. Rulings are subject to appeal at the Supreme Court.

The latest figures coincide with a broad debate ahead of a vote in March this year about scrapping the mandatory licence fee for public broadcasters.​​​​​​​

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