Independent and reliable
SR alone decides on programme content. Nobody outside the company can influence decisions on what should or what should not be broadcast. The broadcasting licence lays down SR’s journalistic freedom and its independence from political, commercial and other interests. The licence is granted to SR by the government for several years at a time.
The broadcasting license
The licence stipulates the general direction of programming. SR should, among other things:
• reflect diversity
• offer a broad range of programmes for both large and small groups in society
• take increased responsibility for reflecting Swedish culture and music as well as the Swedish language
• broadcast programmes in minority and immigrant languages
• produce programmes for children and young people
• decentralise its programme production
Two fundamental laws
The underlying principles of the broadcasting licence are formulated in the Radio and Television Act. The act stipulates some fundamental rules regarding the assertion of democratic values, such as the importance of avoiding bias. SR also adheres to the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression, which is the equivalent of the Freedom of the Press Act for broadcast media.
Financing through the TV licence
The public finances SR and the two other public broadcasters (Swedish Television, SVT, and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, UR) through a TV licence paid by households. The annual cost is currently 2076 SEK (2010). For approximately 5,50 SEK a day you get access to all the programmes from Swedish Television, Swedish Radio and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company. Parliament decides on the allocation of licence revenues. At present, SR receives 37,5% of licence revenues, about 2 SEK per day for each household.
SR is a limited liability company owned by a foundation. The foundation also owns the two other public broadcasters (SVT and UR), and its main task is to safeguard the integrity and independence of the three companies.