This quarter’s school trip I think is worth mentioning since not only did we enjoy our tour but we also learned a bit more about how the Swiss radio and television (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen) network operates. However, I can only mention for the television side because we were not able to tour the radio station building.
Background: The radio station was first launched in 1931 with around 60% market share due to the German-speaking part of Switzerland being the majority. The television station was launched later in 1953 wherein they first used a tennis hall of one of the hotels in 1960 since the studio itself wasn’t completed until five years later. It wasn’t until 1969 that more televisions were bought which increased their market share due to the television coverage of the moon landing of Apollo 11. It wasn’t until 2011 that they merged.
All news broadcasts are live, including quick Q&As with correspondents abroad with the exception of special cases like technical difficulties that could disrupt their airtime. We were there in time to watch the first news broadcasting of the day from the control room, observing how everyone conducted transitions smoothly. Every second counts.
Despite the country having its own dialects of German, French, and Italian, only the Swiss German dialect is used for broadcasting in the german-speaking part whereas the rest are in the official French or Italian languages.
Visiting their props and costume rooms was one thing, but after seeing studio 8 and 1, there’s probably not much more I could say. Studio 8 has a measurement of 800 m2. Given the name, it has 8 different sets for different shows, and for those who watch their programs would be surprised how everyone actually fits these sets that are merely divided in under one roof. Studio 1 is the oldest studio and also the only one that allows pop-up stages especially for special viewings like the Valentine’s Day special. We didn’t forget to try the green screen ourselves since it’s probably what most of us came for and looked forward to doing upon first knowing about this trip and so here are a few more photos from the tour.