The 2019 Culture Award from the Cultural Association for the Obersimmental Saanenland Pays-d'Enhaut region went to Müller Medien AG from Gstaad.
This prize has been awarded in recognition of the regional customs, local culture and important contemporary events that the company’s newpaper Anzeiger von Saanen has recorded, handed down and preserved. The award also recognises books published by regional authors through the company.
Walter Raaflaub gave a speech praising Müller Medien AG, the winner of the award. Raaflaub, a former teacher, taxi driver, doctor and author of various published works, looked back in detail over the history of the winning company. As part of his eloquent review, Raaflaub had brought along an original edition of the first Anzeiger für Saanen und Obersimmenthal. This was published over 130 years ago.
Using numerous anecdotes, he paid tribute to the work of three Müller generations. Each had focused on essential areas such as regional events and reports. In addition to producing newspapers, another major activity of the publishing house has been book publishing. Books are equally important historic documents, providing future generations with exciting insights into life in the region. He described Müller's achievements as "great literary and publishing work", naming the foundation of the Frutigländer, another Bernese Oberland regional newspaper, as a "genuine stroke of genius". Owner, CEO and publishing director of Müller Median AG, Frank Müller, is also behind this publication.
At the end of his laudatory speech, Raaflaub stated that small publishers need to be brave and not get too waylaid by the competition from major publishers. Size alone isn't a decisive factor, as is often the case.
Information that isn't recorded will be lost.
Frank Müller said that this prize was "a huge surprise," and immediately passed on the credit to all his employees. "None of this would have been possible without great employees!" The publisher also emphasised that loyal readers are particularly important, as are the authors who self-finance their works through to publication. Unlike large publishing houses that help to finance publications through bestsellers like Harry Potter, each book in small businesses like his has to be self-financed. The award winner also enthused about a book his company will publish by the award speech maker, Walter Raaflaub.
Frank Müller acknowledged that the prize inspired him to continue publishing books, with a main focus on local customs, traditions and regional culture. The Cultural Association considered these to be critical factors when awarding the 2019 Culture Prize for "Culture in the Obersimmental Saanenland Pays-d'Enhaut Regions" to Müller Median AG. "It's all about preserving the region's cultural heritage. That's why we chose Müller Medien AG for this award," said President Erika Baumgartner, explaining their choice and adding: "Information that isn’t recorded will be lost!"
Based on AvS / Kerem S. Maurer
Translated by Justine Hewson