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Swiss referendum may decide to close public broadcasting
When radio started in the early part of the last century, most countries established a national public broadcasting system; first radio, then television, and now internet as well.
Along the way, many countries also allowed private stations to develop, which have proliferated enormously,.
Public broadcasting in recent years has come under criticism, as private broadcasting has become more prevalent. With the internet, international shortwave broadcasts have been cut in many cases, such as Canada, but the publicly funded domestic systems are also being questioned and even criticised both for cost and claims by some that it is “unnecessary” due to the wide range of alternatives, often now from foreign countries as well as domestic.
Defenders of public radio say private stations do not provide the unique identity, stories, and culture of the nation. A web-based service Swiss Info, also provides Swiss news to ex-pats around the world, and to those interested in happenings in Switzerland.
Switzerland will soon undergo a national referendum which could see their entire public system shut down.
Diccon Bewes is an author and sits on the Swiss broadcasting council as an advisor.