Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Weekday News from Switzerland

Since the end of broadcasts from "Swiss Radio International" a few years back, the only way to get domestically-produced news about Switzerland has been via the Swissinfo.org website. Swissinfo is powered by the state-funded Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, also the parent of SRI when it existed.

Over the past few months the SBC has gotten back into the business of producing English language "radio" about Switzerland; a weekly podcast produced for external consumption was recently launched at the swissinfo site, and I'll have more info on that in a later post.

Last November, SBC purchased World Radio Geneva, a commercial, English-language Geneva-based FM station, and has since rebranded the station as World Radio Switzerland, continuing in English, and has expanded its radio presence to the rest of Switzerland via DAB; World Radio Switzerland also webcasts 24/7.

World Radio Switzerland is both a music and news/talk station; most of the news programming consists of rebroadcasting the BBC World Service. However, WRS produces a 12-minute newscast focusing on news about Switzerland every weekday, calling it Switzerland Today. The program airs local time at 630, 730, and 830; this corresponds to 0530, 0630 and 0730 UTC.

It's a youthful-sounding program, with presenters sporting both British and American English accents. There's a roughly 5-minute newscast, with two longer features rounding out the segment. As WRS has a largely domestic target audience, the news is actually news of interest to people in Switzerland, versus news for consumption by expats.

In addition to Switzerland Today, it appears there are a few other English language spoken-word programs that might be of interest:

-- Swiss Press Review, airing at 7:45 local time (0645 UTC)

-- Cover Story, airing at 12:45 local time (1145 UTC)

-- On The Beat, airing at 10 AM local time (0900 UTC).

Purists will remind us that "It ain't shortwave", but it is English language programming from a country that has long been a favorite target of SWLs.

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