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swissinfo reaction

swissinfo is to be cut to an English-only platform swissinfo.ch

Many swissinfo readers from within Switzerland and around the world have reacted to the news of the cuts.

This content was published on March 29, 2005 - 11:16

A selection of your emails:

R.E. from Switzerland writes: As a UK ex-pat living and working in Switzerland, but sadly not speaking a local language, I have been a regular user of this excellent website to keep myself informed of the local news around me in CH. I would hate to see any reduction in content and coverage of the excellent news services. 80 Jobs gone? Stupid government decision.

J.S. from Australia writes: I access the swissinfo web site each & every day. While I only use the English & to a much lesser extent the German language pages, I believe it to be extremely valuable that other major languages be supported. I know how much information I would miss out on if the English pages were discontinued. To whom in government should I send my concerns?

S.M. from Australia writes: I am much saddened by the news of the cutbacks to swissinfo. As the world's only fully democratic country, Switzerland is unique. I would have thought that it has a duty to explain to the rest of the world how and why it works so well. Whenever people say to me here in Australia "Democracy can never work" I reply "Look at Switzerland," and suggest that they add Swissinfo to the favourites on their internet browser. The normal media rarely carries Swiss news - and if it does it's only the chocolate box and yodelling stereotypes. I am only glad that the English language service will continue - at least for the time being.

D.R. from Britain writes: This is utterly appalling! This further depletes CH influence abroad, and also loses yet more chances of making CH a tourist destination. I have long mourned the loss of live broadcasting, and for me the replacement by just print does not work; nor does it for other Helvetiaphiles. Can you not re-instate an online broadcasting system, run on the lines of the old SRI format? - including such features as Capital Letters, which was a sort of "club" for all your listeners around the world. Please, at least survey your readers as to just what they want!

S.C. from Switzerland writes: I married a wonderful Swiss girl and came to live in her country. I try, oh so hard, with the German but I cannot say when it will be as good as my English. I found swissinfo and have been so grateful for the information and insight that it has given me. I often know more about the Swiss news than the Swiss who use my restaurant. I have never really understood the obsession 'Right Wing' folks have for saving, saving for what?... I thank you very much for the great service you have done for me and I am sure for thousands who speak other tongues but live here in Switzerland.

U.S. from Australia writes: It's a sad day when Switzerland retreats from the world stage and reduces its platform to an English language [service]. What happened to multilingual Switzerland, its commitment to linguistic minorities, its credibility re human rights? Has the country become so poor that it risks its reputation in the non-English speaking countries of South America, Africa and Asia? And what about its own language groups - French, Italian and German? Should this wealth of linguistic diversity simply disappear? I can't believe it - who can we write to? - I presume it does not help to address the victim, that is, swissinfo. Cheers from down-under...

M.H. writes: As a Swiss abroad I find swissinfo incredibly useful especially as I am trying to improve my "Schwiezerdeutsch". I am VERY disappointed by the news that the service will be drastically reduced. Is there anywhere I can write to complain?

J.R. from Switzerland writes: It's a shame that with the high amount of radio/TV taxes we pay in Switzerland that this simple service for both Swiss and forigners can not be maintained to the highest degree. I am from New Zealand and while living here in CH find swissinfo a useful tool to gauge different reactions on news topics. One of the very few unbiased news services in CH. Perhaps swissinfo could be commercialised in a way that advertisments on the webiste would pay for a solid team of journalists? Why not?

G.O-M. from the United States writes: I am a Puerto Rican who had a golden opportunity to study in Swtizerland as an AFS Intercultural Programs exchange student. swissinfo has been extraordinary to keep my Swiss culture alive and my languages in use. If this restructuring would eliminate the opportunity to have the news and perspectives of each of the language regions, it would be an abominable detriment to not only the Swiss, and adopted Swiss like me, but to the obligation that swissinfo has to ensure that the cultural patrimony expressed in the presence of all four languages is present in all of its intellectual properties. Thank you for this valuable service, and I hope that my comments dissuade you from eliminating your services.

R.G. writes: I have been reading swissinfo.org for the past 3 years, every morning, no mater where I am. It is sad to learn that the Swiss government is planning to cut down the budget. It seems to be be yet another short-sighted approach of politicians.

U. writes: I presume it helps little to protest to you about
the closure of multilingual Swissinfo. As far as I could see on your
website, Swissinfo has made no comment/commitment to its users that it will
develop alternative proposals and submit these to SRG (eg that users of
Swissinfo could financially contribute to the Service, in the form of an
annual fee; or that Swissinfo could allow advertising on its website
(preferably not) but anyway, I cannot find any draft letter that users of
your website could support and that you would submit to SRG. It may well be
that this is not custom in Switzerland - but considering that it prides
itself to represent a direct democracy, there was little consultation in the
decision of SRG to close the multilingual programs on Swissinfo's platform.
Are you (or is anybody else) likely to initiate a campaing to save the
language programs other than English?? can we (the users) support such a
campaign?

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