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Motion on a planning report on cantonal media funding
The government council is called upon to develop instruments for indirect and direct media funding in order to ensure media diversity in the canton of Lucerne. In a planning report, it should show possible models as well as their financing and the need for legal adjustments.
Independent journalistic media are a central prerequisite for democracy. In the federally structured Switzerland with its democracy, this also applies at cantonal and communal level. Independent media enable the population to obtain appropriate information about the situation in the world and its region, form opinions, hold debates and ultimately make decisions. In order for the media to be able to fulfill their role, framework conditions for media diversity and media quality are required.
With the shift in advertising revenue, the traditional press business models have come under pressure in recent years. The resulting concentration processes in the large publishing houses are noticeable in Central Switzerland: With the Luzerner Zeitung, there is now only one regional daily newspaper, of which only the local section is produced in Lucerne. Contrary to the announcements, it is also the case that the local part is not being expanded, but rather reduced. It has been known since March 2019 that the Sunday edition of the newspaper will be discontinued at the end of June 2019. The regional broadcasters Tele 1 and Radio Pilatus are also under the same roof as the Luzerner Zeitung (CH Media). In two preliminary responses, the government council expressed its concern about decreasing media diversity and regional relevance (A472, A539), but did not take any effective measures.
Opposite these developments in the press area is the fee-financed SRG with a certain regional offer as well as various smaller media offers independent of print publishers. However, their financing model is only secured to a limited extent and they can therefore only offer an alternative selectively.
While the SRG is financed by the federal government and there is no constitutional basis for direct funding of the printed press, the federal government and the cantons have shared competence in funding online media (Art. 93 BV). Due to the developments at national level (skeptical feedback from almost all parties on the draft of the new federal law on electronic media (BGeM) as well as pending parliamentary proposals for an amendment to the constitution), the federal government is unlikely to see any rapid introduction of expanded funding for the media. The canton of Lucerne must therefore take the initiative itself because the structural change here is taking place so rapidly and massively.
The government is requested to work out ways of direct and indirect media funding in the canton of Lucerne. For all models, the financing requirements, the sources of financing and the need for legal adjustments must be shown.
Estermann Rahel, Cantonal Councilor for Greens, [email protected] and co-signatory
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