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Public radio admonished for ignoring Romansh language

A programme about the country’s multilingualism has failed to heed the rules of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

The ombuds office of the German-language SRF radio channel approved a complaint by an interest group for Romansh culture, saying a 17-minute programme on language variety in Switzerland did not report adequately.

Not only did the German-language programme leave out a mention of Romansh, but it also oversimplified the region where Italian is spoken in Switzerland, the complaint’s board said in its verdict published on Monday.

“It’s more than just an oversight,” the board said.

The Lia Rumantscha organisation said it had no plans to pursue the case. 

Switzerland has four official languages: German is the first language for about 65% of the residents, while French accounts for about 23%; Italian is the mother tongue of around 8%, while fewer than 1% are Romansh speakers.

The SBC runs television and radio channels as well as online services in all four national languages. It is also the parent company of the ten-language multimedia platform SWI swissinfo.ch.