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SRG SSR contributes to education and knowledge transfer with a broad range of radio and television programmes. It does so beyond the scope of its programming as well, by supporting museums, exhibitions and events.
Article 93 of the Swiss Federal Constitution states that radio and television must contribute to cultural development, to the unrestricted formation of opinion and to entertainment.
Article 24 of the Radio and Television Act and the Concession both stipulate that SRG SSR is to help educate its audience, in particular by regularly broadcasting programmes with educational content.
Duty to aid formation of political opinions
A functioning democracy needs well informed citizens. SRG SSR’s news and current affairs programmes are significant in this regard because they offer the audience an unmistakably Swiss view of events at home and abroad. The consistency with which SRG SSR focuses on the leading issues also helps to guide its audience.
SRG SSR’s tasks include informing people about federal votes and encouraging voters to form their own opinions. Parliamentary reporting is thus a firm fixture of its radio and television programming. SRG SSR also broadcasts every vote by both chambers of parliament and every Federal Council election live with comment from expert pundits. To ensure continuous, direct reporting on the Federal Council and parliament, it has set up the Federal Parliament Production Centre – comprising a television studio and several radio studios – inside the federal government’s media hub.
Knowledge and education fostered by radio and television
While most SRG SSR radio and television programmes are not produced primarily for educational purposes, many do impart information on topics as diverse as consumer protection, health, natural history, travel, culture and business. SRG SSR offers high-quality radio and television programmes every day with educational content and provides useful advice to the various age groups.
- Radio: Informative SRF programmes include “Kontext”, “Perspektiven”, “Echo der Zeit”, “Doppelpunkt”, “Espresso” and “Ratgeber” (The Guide). Educational programmes include “Zambo”. Similar offerings on RTS are “Atlas”, “Impatience”, “On en parle” (People are talking about it), “Histoire Vivante” (Living History), “Médialogues” (Mediologists) and the children’s programme “Les Zèbres”. RSI has “Dentro le cose” (Inside) and “Natura sott’occhio” (Nature close up), while Radio Rumantsch has “Forum”, “Marella” and “Tavulin litterar” (Literary round table).
- Television: SRF programmes with educational content include “DOK”, “Horizonte”, “Einstein”, “NETZ NATUR”, “kulturplatz” (culture space), “Puls”, “Kassensturz”, “Rundschau” and “SRF Wissen mySchool” (SRF Knowledge mySchool); RTS has programmes such as “A Bon Entendeur” (A Word to the Wise), “36,9°”, “Geopolitis” “Histoire des savoirs” (History of knowledge), “Passe-moi les jumelles” (Pass the binoculars), “TTC” and “Les docs”; RSI has “Il giardino di Albert” (Albert’s garden) and “Il filo della storia” (The thread of the story), and RTR has “Cuntrasts” (Contrasts).
- Interactive content: Many of the radio and television programmes mentioned above incorporate elements of audience participation, with members of the audience invited to pose questions directly. Telephone hotlines and specially created Internet forums allow interested viewers and listeners to have their individual questions answered either during or after the programme by various experts, for example a team of doctors for the SRF programme “Puls” and subject specialists for the RTS radio programme “On en parle”.
- Studio tours: The SRG SSR enterprise units organise regular educational tours of their radio and television studios for schools and other interest groups.
Knowledge and education through the Internet
SRG SSR is increasingly making its broad knowledge accessible to the public via the Internet, which is massively increasing its contribution to education. The latest radio and television programmes form the basis for this offering and are available on demand over the Internet as podcasts and streams. With a view to being even closer to its audience, SRG SSR also publishes selected content on third-party platforms such as YouTube. SRG SSR’s Internet content notched up a total of more than 150 million visits and around 700 million page views in 2008.
Education and knowledge are crucial success factors. They have a direct impact on research and development, on jobs and the economy and on people’s social behaviour and leisure time. That is why the duty to educate is a cornerstone of SRG SSR’s public service remit.
SRG SSR knowledge platforms
|Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen||www.wissen.drs.ch|
|Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen||www.wissen.sf.tv www.myschool.sf.tv|
|Radio Télévision Suisse||www.tsrdecouverte.ch|
|SRG SSR (Timeline – das audiovisuelle Archiv der Schweiz seit 1931)||www.ideesuisse.ch/timeline|
These platforms are of interest to all, not just teachers and students, and they contain numerous articles and dossiers on a wide range of topics, including health, the environment, energy, research, business, politics, religion and sport.
Promoting education outside radio and television
In the interests of promoting education, SRG SSR cooperates with other organisations and has been involved in some media partnerships for many years:
- Fondation du Centre Romand de Formation des Journalistes: SRG SSR is a founding member of Centre Romand de Formation des Journalistes, a journalism college in Lausanne (www.crfj.ch).
- MAZ – the Swiss College of Journalism: SRG SSR is represented on the MAZ Board of Trustees (www.maz.ch).
- Media Factory at the Swiss Museum of Transport: The Media Factory at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne is a media and knowledge workshop. Young and old alike can get a taste of the studio atmosphere and try their hand at producing, presenting and publishing their own news articles (www.verkehrshaus.ch).
- Memoriav: Memoriav is an association that aims to preserve Switzerland’s audiovisual heritage (www.memoriav.ch).
- Pacte Multimédia: The Pacte Multimédia (Multimedia Pact) comprises two elements. The first is the Multimedia Prize to promote drama projects with outstanding interactive and multimedia aspects. The second is www.pactemultimedia.ch, which is available in four languages and provides a platform for SRG SSR’s radio, television and multimedia productions.
- Swiss National Sound Archives: The purpose of these archives is to collect, preserve and make available audio media with content relating to Swiss history and culture (www.fonoteca.ch).
- SSAB – the Swiss Foundation for Audiovisual Teaching Media: SSAB sees itself as a network. SRF has been a member for many years (www.ssab-online.ch).
- Stapferhaus Lenzburg: The Stapferhaus holds exhibitions and provides cultural exchange, socio-cultural and culture management services (www.stapferhaus.ch).