Fairness in journalism and PR

Around 400 members and guests of the Zurich Press Association and the Zurich PR Society met at ETH Zurich on Tuesday evening for this year's Communication Summit to discuss "Fairness in Journalism and PR".

Moderated by Reto Lipp (SRF), Peter Eberhard, President pr suisse, Jörg Kachelmann, journalist and meteorologist, Res Strehle, Editor-in-Chief Tages-Anzeiger, Claudio Zuccolini, comedian, and Rena Zulauf, media lawyer, exchanged their arguments and experiences. ETH Rector Sarah Springman gave the opening speech. Zuccolini followed her with a satirical intervention.

Wherever work is done, mistakes happen, said Rena Zulauf. The lawyer, who works primarily for so-called media victims, called for a professional approach to corrections and personality protection. Jörg Kachelmann, who reported on his fight against untrue facts and for the right to be forgotten, continues to feel like such a victim. Obtaining counterstatements and deleting false allegations is time-consuming and hardly feasible for non-professionals.

One of the reasons for the perceived, but not clearly verifiable, increase in editorial errors is the time and economic pressure under which media professionals work today in the dawning digital age. There is often not enough time for research. It was undisputed that the trusting dialog between media and PR professionals, who now outnumber journalists, is conducive to quality.

The increasing influence of the judiciary on media creation was controversially discussed. Tagi boss Res Strehle reported that in his medium, the costs for legal representation and court proceedings are charged to the respective departments in order to promote correct work.

The framework for practical work is provided on the one hand by the code of the PR association, and on the other hand by the rights and duties of journalists. These sets of rules define the framework for the respective professions. Within pr suisse, the creation of an internal control body for the industry, like the Press Council for Media, is being discussed, said Peter Eberhard, the association's president. Communication of whatever sender must be true, clear, transparent, comprehensible, consistent over a period of time, Eberhard said.

The Communication Summit is considered the largest professional event for the media and communications industries in Zurich. The event features prominent experts and panelists with special experience in dealing with the media, as well as professionals from public relations and journalism. It is jointly organized by the Zurich PR Society and the Zurich Press Association and takes place at the beginning of February each year.

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