Tag Archives: Switzerland

Switzerland ending RF terrestrial broadcasting of television

Television TV

Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

(Source: Fortune via Mark Fahey)

Switzerland Is Doing Away With Over-the-Air TV. Could the U.S. Do the Same?

Rabbit ears and other TV antennas could be useless in Switzerland before too long.

The Swiss government has given the country’s public broadcaster approval to turn off its digital terrestrial TV (known as over-the-air to most people) by the end of 2019. It will be the first nation in Europe to do so.

Most Swiss have high speed broadband internet connections and cable networks in their homes, so the move is unlikely to affect many citizens. Only 1.9% of the population, about 64,000 people, reportedly take advantage of the service that’s being discontinued.

Other European nations are expected to follow Switzerland’s lead in the next 10 to 15 years. And while many Americans believe the right to free, over-the-air broadcasts are protected, that’s not quite as cut and dry as it might seem.

Yes, the federal government licenses the airwaves to television stations (among other entities). […]But the government doesn’t license networks, only individual stations, as outlined by the FCC.

“We license only individual broadcast stations,”: the agency says in a 2008 report explaining its authority.

[…]Put another way: Networks are not required to broadcast their shows over the air.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Fortune.

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“Switzerland’s international voice in a changing world”

(Photo: SwissInfo.ch)

(Photo: SwissInfo.ch)

Many thanks to my buddy, Rob Wagner, for passing along yet another great article with archived sound clips from Swiss Radio International.

Click here to read Switzerland’s international voice in a changing world.

 

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Switzerland In Sound comes with a familiar voice

The host of Switzerland in Sound, Bob Zanotti.

The host of Switzerland in Sound, Bob Zanotti.

For any of you who listened to Swiss Radio International (SRI) on shortwave radio, you’ll no doubt know the name of long-time radio presenter Bob Zanotti. For me, his deep, rich voice was synonymous with SRI.

What you may not know is that Zanotti hosts his own website called Switzerland In Sound. It is chock-full of up-to-date Swiss information, news (Tina Turner became Swiss?), interviews, thoughts, musings and a wealth of vintage recordings from SRI.

SwitzerlandInSoundIf you were a fan of The Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round, you’ll be pleased to discover the many recordings he has of The Two Bobs (Bob Zanotti and Bob Thomann).

Bob also manages a Facebook page for Switzerland in Sound. If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to join his group.

Check out Switzerland In Sound:
http://www.switzerlandinsound.com

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Swiss Short Wave Service archives now online

(Photo: SwissInfo.ch)

(Source: swissinfo.ch)

During the Second World War, Switzerland’s fledgling short wave radio service was essential to its attempts to communicate its policies and actions to an external audience made up of both foreign governments and the Swiss abroad.

The archives of the Short Wave Service (SWS), founded in 1935, have been digitalised and are now available online (See link). SWS was the forerunner to Swiss Radio International (SRI) which later became swissinfo.ch.

The manuscripts of news bulletins from this dark time in Europe reveal Swiss thinking on events both out of its control and right on its doorstep as the country desperately held on to its beloved neutrality.

In Switzerland’s national languages (German, French, Italian) as well as English, Spanish and Portuguese, SWS broadcast news and analysis of military events on both sides.

It also reported on living conditions of Australian, New Zealand, South African and American POWs interned in mountain retreats, and issued sharp rebukes of external criticism of Swiss government policy.

“Switzerland finds herself today in one of the most peculiar situations of her long history. From a certain viewpoint, she is surrounded by one power only. From another viewpoint, she is surrounded, among others, by three defeated powers: Austria, France and Italy. Under these circumstances Switzerland has remained true to her traditional role of guardian of the Alpine passes,” began an English broadcast from Hermann Böschenstein in the wake of the fall of Mussolini in 1943.

The same broadcast went on to discuss dashed hopes that Italy’s fall would see a reopening of transport routes to the sea, praised the Swiss influence of the International Red Cross as “incontestable”, and noted that “all-out” training of Swiss army troops had resulted in “quite a few casualties lately” with the use of flame-throwers being responsible in some cases.

Treasure trove

Lausanne University’s François Vallotton, a specialist in contemporary audio-visual and media history in Switzerland, was unable to resist the lure of such a treasure trove of documents.

Vallotton, whose work focuses in particular on the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) – the parent company of swissinfo.ch – convened a seminar to undertake initial research on the SWS archive documents.

The archives, which have been formatted into a database searchable by keyword, are particularly interesting for historians because the historiography of international radio services has not yet been developed, particularly in Switzerland.

Vallotton says analysis of the archives is unlikely to reinvent what is already known about Switzerland during the Second World War, but: “What is interesting is that it is a source that allows us to see the image that Switzerland wanted to present to the outside world.”

“That is something that is really new because before we examined local media which was aimed at the Swiss public.”

Broadcasts by SWS at that time were also notable for the fact that they were the first news bulletins produced by a dedicated radio editorial team; previously news bulletins had been written and read by journalists from the Swiss News Agency, a press organisation.

“The service treated events in a different manner than to the local media,” says Raphaëlle Ruppen Coutaz, who is doing his doctorate on the subject. “For historians, it’s precious because it is the only Swiss media outlet to address those abroad during the war.” [Continue reading…]

I have really enjoyed looking through the archives. Of particular interest are the corrections that were made before reading the news.  They’re all there.

The actual archive database can be found here.

Read the full article at swissinfo.ch.

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