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27 September 2019
In view of the media industry's ostensibly democratic and political role, the Federal Council has decided to adopt effective and feasible support measures. These measures will be implemented by adapting existing laws and incorporating online media into the scope of the Federal Act on Radio and Television. However, the plan to create a new Electronic Media Act has been abandoned.
In 2018 a pre-draft version of the Electronic Media Act was released for consultation among civil entities (eg, companies, political parties and NGOs) with controversial results. Although opinions differed, many respondents stressed that the economic difficulties of newspapers required urgent measures. For instance, Swiss newspaper revenues are falling, editorial offices are merging and jobs are being lost. At the same time, significant investment is expected from the media industry to support the digital transition.
On 28 August 2019 the Federal Council suggested several measures to support the media industry, including direct and indirect financial assistance. The proposed package of measures is available in German, French and Italian and a short summary is available in English.
The measures which aim to replace the draft of the Electronic Media Act are as follows:
Parliament is currently discussing diverse parliamentary initiatives to create a constitutional basis for direct support of the media. In the meantime, the Federal Council will present its immediate package of measures to Parliament in the first half of 2020. Therefore, the legal evolution of the media sector should be closely monitored in order to adapt to these dynamic developments.
For further information on this topic please contact Jürg Schneider, Annemarie Lagger or Christophe Gösken at Walder Wyss by telephone (+41 58 658 58 58) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Walder Wyss website can be accessed at www.walderwyss.com.
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