The cabinet has approved a new mandate for swissinfo.ch for a four-year period starting from January 1, 2017.
In a statement, the cabinet said it would contribute nearly CHF20 million ($20.2 million) annually – or CHF1.6 million less than it does currently – to continue to co-finance swissinfo.ch, as well as tvsvizzera.it, TV5Monde and 3sat, which all provide news and information for international audiences.
The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), the parent company of swissinfo.ch, welcomed the decision, calling it “a recognition of the central role played by these websites and broadcasters in positioning Switzerland abroad”.
“Via the four foreign services of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) – SWI swissinfo.ch, TV5Monde, 3Sat and tvsvizzera.it – Switzerland can reach and inform hundreds of millions of people around the world about its experiences with direct democracy and its four cultures. It can also distribute cultural programmes beyond the country’s borders,” added SBC Director General, Roger de Weck.
The mandate for swissinfo.ch for the first time explicitly requires the service to offer relevant curated content from external sources and “citizen journalism” to more actively involve the public in content creation. Implicitly mentioned is also regular coverage of issues about direct democracy and the integration of immigrants in Swiss society.