Changes at SR International

Press Information 2005-09-23
SR Expands Schedules for Several Immigrant Languages, including Kurdish and Romany
Swedish Radio has, in connection with the regular language review, determined which languages SR International will broadcast during 2006. The decision means:
• Schedules will increase for six of eight immigrant/minority languages. The biggest increase is for Kurdish and the minority language Romany
• English will be added as an immigrant language
• Turkish and Spanish will no longer be broadcast
• New staff will be recruited outside Stockholm, including Gothenburg and Malmö

Here’s the official press release (note that this only covers Immigrant Languages and not the changes at Radio Sweden):
Broadcasts in the various languages are aimed primarily at relatively newly arrived immigrants, who are in great need of news, information about public services, and understanding of Swedish culture in their own languages.
Reducing the number of languages means that there will be more broadcast time and resources for the remaining languages, and thus greater opportunities to reach their listeners with qualified and relevant content. At the same time, opportunities will improve to cover the lives and living conditions of the various audience groups, through the recruitment of new staff.
“I am looking forward to improving the quality of our programmes, and establishing ties with new staff outside Stockholm,” says Anne Sseruwagi, head of SR International.
The new P2 network schedule, which goes into effect on January 16, 2006, includes programmes from SR International’s Immigrant Languages Department in the following languages: Arabic, Assyrian/Aramaic, Kurdish, Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian, and Somali, along with English and the minority language Romany. The Spanish programme “Panorama”, “Merhaba” in Turkish, and the Swedish-language programme “Passet” are leaving the schedule. Swedish Radio’s webpage with news in Polish is also closing.
“You can tell the Turkish immigrant group has been in Sweden for a long time,” says Anne Ssseruwagi, “since the audience for Swedish Radio’s Turkish programmes has declined.”
Swedish Radio has taken into account the following factors in its decision: The size of the language group in Sweden, how many people speak the language as their mother tongue and cross-over language, and also the number of years in Sweden, how new is the group to this country? Reasons for asylum, and the degree of integration, cultural, and linguistic separation from Sweden have been other criteria, along with the need to support and develop their culture and their language. This means primarily people without a country of their own, and oppressed minorities, such as the Kurds, Assyrians/Syriac Christians, and Roma
Swedish Radio and the multi-cultural department SR International have an important democratic commission to create forum for news, current affairs, and debate for that part of the population which does not speak Swedish well, and has limited knowledge of Swedish society. The department’s programmes in immigrant languages, which total 13 hours a week, are broadcast on the P2 network outside Stockholm, and on P6 International 89.6 FM in Greater Stockholm.