Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

God forbid – media do not manipulate, do they?

Why do almost all newspapers in the entire Canton of Zurich report absolutely nothing – despite knowing better – about the fact that the cantonal popular initiative demanding a referendum on the introduction of Curriculum 21 in the Canton of Zurich, was recently officially submitted with more than twice the number of required signatures (27 November 2015)? Instead, the very next day (what a coincidence!), a widely spread media article could be read across the whole Canton, reporting completely uncritically, yet in detail on how the Zurich education authorities intended to introduce Curriculum 21 canton-wide in the coming years – completely unmoved and without any comment by the editors, as if this education policy project was totally undisputed, absolutely clear and decided on long ago! Thus once again the disquieting, however tendentious manner as to how media deal with unpleasant facts is revealed by these proceedings. Or to be more specific: It seems that this initiative simply does not suit the media lobby as the fourth power in the state! But how will the voters be able to form a relevant and balanced personal opinion when deciding on the introduction of Curriculum 21 in the Canton of Zurich, in particular if they receive information only occasionally and furthermore one-sidedly by the media? Is that worthy of a press, considering itself to be serious?
You do not need to be a clairvoyant: Critics of Curriculum 21 can unfortunately not expect a factual, fair reporting and decent media treatment and will probably have to brace themselves up for the upcoming referendum campaign – unless some leading media representatives take on their responsibility and think twice. As throughout Switzerland, just at the beginning of the Advent season, a prominent and broad-based, clearly left-sided politically active opposition in the country let their voices be heard about the intended Curriculum 21. Now these opponents put forward their critical fact-based arguments thereby clearly siding with those hitherto sole opposing so-called “right-wing” circles (cf. Sonntagszeitung of 29 November 2015). So we are certainly anxious to learn what the further media treatment of the subject will be like.

Kurt Scherrer

(Translation Current Concerns)

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