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Financial equalisation makes it possible to provide programmes of the same quality in the different regions. SRG SSR also promotes exchanges between the various language communities and cultures and supports minorities.
Solidarity means financial equalisation for programmes of the same quality
SRG SSR distributes its licence fee and advertising income among its radio and television enterprise units in the four language regions in accordance with a fixed funding equation. Thanks to this financial equalisation between the language regions, the enterprise units Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI) and Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR) receive a greater share of the available funds. SRG SSR uses licence fee income exclusively to finance the programming it is obliged to produce under the public service remit.
SRG SSR contributes to understanding between different linguistic and cultural communities with programmes that span regional boundaries. A team of experts assesses projects that serve the common needs of the radio and television companies as well as the SRG SSR mission. These interregional projects cover the fields of news and current affairs, entertainment and culture. The resulting productions shed light on Switzerland from a range of different angles. For example, the series “SCIENCEsuisse”, shown in 2008 and 2009, comprised 25 short films about the world of science and research. Similar series from previous years were “PHOTOsuisse”, “LiteraTour de Suisse” (A Literary Tour of Switzerland), “ArchitecTour de Suisse” (An Architectural Tour of Switzerland) and “Mysteriöse Schweiz” (Mysterious Switzerland). Sporting events and entertainment programmes, too, are increasingly being broadcast nationwide.
Migration, integration and cultural diversity
The media play a key role in the integration of immigrants. SRG SSR therefore continually addresses the benefits of cultural diversity in its radio and television programmes. SRG SSR is also a cooperation partner of the following international organization:
- CIVIS Media Foundation: The Foundation raises awareness of integration and cultural diversity issues among journalists in Germany and Europe and awards prizes to programmes that deal with these issues to outstanding effect.
Television without boundaries
Some people depend on special help to allow them to enjoy television programmes. These include people with hearing difficulties or visual impairments as well as those without the language skills needed to understand television programmes directly. SRG SSR offers various services to make its programming accessible to these people:
Subtitles: Since 2010, prime-time programmes, i.e. those broadcast between 7 and 10 p.m., have been subtitled, as have live events from midday onwards at weekends. A third of all programmes have been subtitled in each language region since the end of 2009.
Sign language: Schweier Radio und Fernsehen (SRF), Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) and Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI) have been providing a daily signed edition of the news programme “Tagesschau” since January 2008.
Audio description: Audio description, a running accoustic commentary for films, allows the visually impaired to follow events on screen when there is no dialogue. SRG SSR has to broadcast at least 24 films per region with audio description per year. In 2015, SRG SSR broadcast a total of 412 audio descripted films.
SRG SSR considers solidarity between majority and minority groups to be an important prerequisite for fulfilling its remit. This is why it also shows solidarity with regard to humanitarian projects.
- Swiss Solidarity (Glückskette): The Swiss Solidarity foundation, formed by SRG SSR, has been collecting donations for people in difficulty since 1946. The foundation itself is not an active charity, so the actual aid work is done by some 25 accredited Swiss charities. The foundation’s assets are subject to three financial audits and among the best managed in Switzerland. In 2015, the foundation gave a total of CHF 109 million to 172 projects in 47 countries. Its biggest fundraising campaign to date was held at the start of 2005 for the victims of the Asian tsunami and raised CHF 227 million. SRF Radio broadcasts a five-minute update, “Glückskette aktuell”, every Sunday at 9.45 a.m. on Radio SRF 1.
- “2 x Weihnachten”: Towards the end of each year, SRG SSR carries out a charity fundraising campaign called “2 x Weihnachten” (2 x Christmas) in conjunction with the Swiss Red Cross and Swiss Post. It calls on Swiss people to brighten up Christmas for disadvantaged people at home and abroad with a gift package. By 2015/2016, the campaign was in its nineteenth year.
- “Denk an mich”: “Denk an mich” (Think of me) is a foundation formed by SRF in 1968. It contributes CHF 2-3 million a year to allow over 10,000 handicapped people to enjoy holidays and leisure activities. More than 50,000 individuals, clubs and companies in Switzerland have donated some CHF 60 million since the foundation was formed. A radio programme every Saturday morning provides information on the foundation’s activities.
- “mitenand”: The SRF programme “mitenand” (together) provides brief reports every week on health, social and environmental problems in Switzerland and the Third World. The reports tell the stories of those affected and show how private aid organisations respond to these challenges. “mitenand” has been under the patronage of SRG SSR since the start of 2005 and is also broadcast on RTS as “ensemble” and on RSI as “insieme”.