Switzerland in 5th place in Reporters Without Borders rankings

Press freedom in Switzerland remains good, even better than last year. This is the assessment of the Paris-based non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (ROG); in its latest report, it places Switzerland in fifth place worldwide - and no longer in seventh place.

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Switzerland's stability is welcome, says the report published by ROG on Wednesday, especially because the situation of the media has deteriorated in many European countries.

Reporters Without Borders cites several factors as justification for its assessment of the Swiss situation:

  1. The economic pressure on the private media, in particular the print media, in 2017. further increased. The decline in advertising revenues, especially in favor of the big "social networks", is reflected in a continuous decrease in the number of journalists and increased stress for those who remain.
  2. The difficult economic situation had also led to the fact that several major publishers their editorships Locally concentrated except for the regional departments - and had created newspaper shells. Tamedia is mentioned in relation to both German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland. This would lead to more concentration, the elimination of many journalist positions and a loss of diversity. The same applies to the joint venture of the NZZ regional newspapers with the AZ Medien newspapers.
  3. 2017 was also characterized by the Disappearance of L'Hebdo after more than 35 years of existence, as well as by the Restructuring of Le Temps been coined.
  4. Furthermore, in 2017 the Fusion between the Swiss Dispatch Agency SDA and Keystone has been initiated, which is expected to result in the loss of several dozen journalistic jobs and, especially in the French- and Italian-language newsrooms, a deterioration in quality. It is not yet clear whether any form of public support can mitigate the consequences of this profound restructuring.
  5. The intensity of the debate surrounding the "No Billag" initiative had shown that the SRG, its financing and the scope of its activities were being called into question to an unprecedented extent. Despite the clear rejection of the initiative on March 4, this had already led to a cap on fees for the SRG, forcing it to make savings of around CHF 100 million. A similarly heated debate is to be expected when the new federal law on electronic media is discussed, he said. (SDA)
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