We would like to draw your attention to the status of WRS - the English-language radio station familiar to so many of us across Switzerland. Many of us get our news from the BBC, Fresh Air from NPR, and insights about Swiss life from this English-language station, which will be pivotal in bringing us news of the upcoming Presidential race.
Last week, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation announced that it is in the process of deciding the future of World Radio Switzerland. Two scenarios are being considered, including privatizing the station or closing it outright, though the latter seems to be the more likely possibility.
As you may know, WRS is the only publicly-funded English-language radio station in Switzerland, listened to widely by Swiss citizen and expatriate alike. The large Anglophone population in Switzerland uses WRS to learn more about Swiss news and culture. But now the future of the station is in doubt. The position of the SBC is that since English is not one of Switzerland's national languages, the company should not fund the station's modest 3.1MM CHF operating budget. The funding comes from your Billag fees (462CHF/year per household) and represents barely one-fifth of 1% of the overall Swiss Broadcasting budget.
If you feel, as we do, that WRS should be preserved as a public service, here is how you can help:
1) Sign the petition at www.savewrs.com/sign-the-petition/ and let the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation know you support WRS.
2) Support WRS on Facebook - www.facebook.com/SaveWorldRadioSwitzerland and on The Future of WRS blog - http://www.thefutureofwrs.com/your-thoughts/
3) Spread the word. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to support WRS. Forward this mail, tweet using the hashtag #savewrs.
We believe we have the power to persuade the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation to maintain funding for WRS - but every voice matters. Please make yours count!