Switzerland is preparing to vote on the “No-Billag” initiative, which, if it passes, will lead to the removal of the licence fee that is the cornerstone of the funding of public service broadcasting. The initiative also prohibits any state subsidies to public service broadcasting. “No-Billag” could lead to the closure of up to 60 public TV and radio channels, with local media and minority-language services in particular in jeopardy. Such hits to the public service broadcasting sector will have a substantial impact on the quality of journalism and the functioning of democracy in Switzerland.
The initiative will have a substantial impact on the jobs in the sector, directly leading to the loss of 7000 jobs. When taking into account jobs indirectly linked to the sector, the estimated reduction of jobs could be as high as 13000. These jobs represent the cultural know-how of the Swiss nation. UNI MEI supports the Swiss trade unions in their demand that the “No-Billag” initiative be rejected, to ensure that Switzerland continues to have a strong and independent public service broadcasting sector and to protect the jobs in the sector.
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