Swiss Voters Reject Public Aid Plan for Newspapers, Media

February 13, 2022

GENEVA — Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a government’s plan to inject more than 150 million francs (about $163 million) into broadcast and print media every year, including support for early-morning newspaper delivery and online media to the tune of 70 million francs (nearly $76 million) a year, according to exit polls.

Some 56% of voters rejected the measure, public broadcaster SRF reported.

Opponents of the plan, which had been passed by Swiss lawmakers in June, had pulled together enough signatures in a petition to put the issue before the public, part of Switzerland’s particular form of democracy that gives voters in the country of 8.5 million a direct say in policymaking.

Foes of the plan had said the cash injection would waste taxpayer money, benefit big newspaper chains and the media moguls who run them and hurt journalistic independence by making media outlets more dependent on state handouts and thus less likely to criticize public officials. They also said it was discriminatory, since free newspapers wouldn’t benefit.

“A media subsidized by the state is a media under control. As the adage goes: ‘Don’t bit the hand that feeds you,’” wrote the opponents who pressed for the referendum. They say big print-media groups together took in more than 300 million in profits in 2020, even during the COVID-19 crisis.

Many other countries in Europe and beyond offer support to newspapers through postal fee discounts, tax breaks and other measures.

Supporters of the cash injection had countered that journalism, especially in local areas ill-served by big media groups, should be considered a public service, as are many public radio and television broadcasters in Switzerland, around Europe.

“Media groups are fighting to survive. Ad revenues for print press haven’t stopped declining or are getting swallowed up by giants like Facebook and Google, and subscriptions aren’t enough,” the Swiss Green party, which supported the measure, had argued before the vote.

Proponents said more than 70 papers have disappeared since 2003. Advertising revenue in all print publications plunged 42% between 2016-2020 in Switzerland.


ATEHNS - Greece confirmed 3,928 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Thursday, bringing all confirmed infections since the pandemic began to 3,410,481 (daily change: +0.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis (Trailer)

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.