This is how "cuddly" the Swiss media world is

It was the term of the evening: the Swiss media world - whether in the field of journalism or public relations - shies away from confrontation, takes a bit of a back seat to all sides and is, all in all, "a bit cuddly."


The term "cuddly" comes from Markus Wiegand, editor-in-chief of "Schweizer Journalisten" from 2005 to 2015, who coined it at this year's Communication Summit in Zurich, organized by the Zurich PR Society (ZPRG) and the Zurich Press Association (ZPV).

The former "Financial Times" journalist Haig Simonian had already struck similar notes in his opening presentation, albeit in a rather British reserved manner. The Swiss PR industry, he said, is largely fragmented and therefore not very effective. The large international offices are rather absent here, and the many individual masks would do well to merge into powerful and professional agencies. Swiss journalism is also "a bit slow," which makes the future look difficult in view of the two major challenges of globalization and digitization, he warned.

The Swiss scene, however, does not occupy the top spot when it comes to "cuddliness," as Gerlinde Manz-Christ recounted to general amusement. As media officer for the Liechtenstein government at the time, she had taken on the task of writing a full-page interview with the president of the government for a local newspaper right at the beginning of her working time there, in other words: to invent it from start to finish.


It seems similarly strange for former "Blick" editor-in-chief Ralph Grosse-Bley to recall that he had to have all statements proofread, especially by politicians. Although this is apparently also attempted in Germany, if an interlocutor overdoes it, this can also lead to this request not being acted upon at all. Haig Simonian could only shake his head: This is not at all common in England. Today's business diplomat Gerlinde Manz-Christ was a little less harsh, saying that she wouldn't get anywhere if she pushed people over the edge.

The lively and stimulating discussion led by TV presenter Reto Lipp ("Eco") under the title "Communication Switzerland - The Outsider's View" made it clear that the world of communication has changed thoroughly in the last dozen years and will continue to change rapidly. A corresponding orientation to this situation is required of everyone if they want to continue to have something to say. "The time of printed paper is finite," Ralph Grosse-Bley put it, but everyone agreed that journalists will continue to be needed to put events into a larger context - in whatever media. (ZPV)

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