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The future of World Radio Switzerland was the talking point yesterday on Forum, one of RTS radio’s most popular shows.
The debate is heating up about whether WRS can be justified as a public service radio station when English is not a national language.
The young Liberal politician from the canton of Valais, Philippe Nantermod, said he’d rather see cantonal, not national, funding for WRS.
This model could be difficult to set up, however, because public media is a federal and not cantonal affair, said Pierre Maudet.
Geneva’s mayor, also a Liberal, argued that WRS clearly had its place at the national level in Switzerland.
WRS costs 0.2 percent of the total Swiss Broadcasting Corporation’s budget.
The Administrative Council is due to start discussing whether it will keep WRS public or not as of a week from now.
Total comments: 1 | Add to the discussion.
WRS - public service radio. I am one of the many expats who not only enjoy but greatly depend on WRS to keep up to date with all Swiss news. Unfortunaltey I didn’t ever have the opportunity to learn a second language as a child, French is not that useful to Australians living in our part of the world, and my very basic French is not sufficient for me to get across news and issues via French language programs. Most countries respect and value diversity and recognize the benefits of getting information out in languages that people are familiar and comfortable with. Below is a list of the languages that Australia’s public radio broadcasts in;
Radio Australia’s signal is primarily aimed at the Asia-Pacific region. It broadcasts in multiple languages, namely English, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Khmer, French, Burmese, and Tok Pisin (a creole language commonly spoken in Papua New Guinea). A daily Pacific news bulletin is podcast in French. Though Radio Australia does not directly target North America or Europe via shortwave, some of its transmissions can be heard in these areas. Radio Australia can also be heard on CBC Radio across Canada during their overnight broadcast. 
I would greatly appreciate reconsideration of the plan to cut WRS. Given the minimal cost of the program - I think the benefits that are gained by keeping the expat community - which is substantial - well informed - are significant.
Finally - it is a strong signal about the openness of the society and the welcome extended to non-residents.
Please keep WRS regards Kristen