NZZ and Watson.ch report most critically about Corona

Since Corona has dominated the headlines, the media have been confronted with accusations for their Corona coverage. They are too statist, they spread too much panic. The Swiss population, however, still gives them passable marks. SRF's "Tagesschau" is the best. The NZZ also ranks high in the tableau and, together with Watson.ch, is considered the media voice that reports most critically on the subject of Corona, according to a survey by Marketagent Switzerland.

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The representative online survey was conducted by Marketagent Switzerland between 7 and 16 January 2021. It asked 755 people between the ages of 14 and 74 in German-speaking Switzerland to rate the quality of the German-speaking Swiss media's reporting on the topic of Corona and to evaluate it according to selected criteria. In June 2020, the Institute already conducted a comparable survey. As was the case then, this time too no medium came up trumps with top marks - but none was rated as very poor either. 

The SRF news magazines again received the best marks. SRF "Tagesschau", for example, achieved an average score of 4.6 (June 2020: 4.7) - with two-thirds of respondents rating the Corona reporting as 5 or 6 and only 8 percent as 1 or 2. SRF magazine "10vor10" (4.5; June 2020: 4.6), Srf.ch/news (4.5; June 2020: 4.5) and "Schweiz aktuell" (4.4; June 2020: 4.5) followed almost equally. 

 

View brings up the rear

In the case of newspapers, the NZZ topped the table of scores with a 4.4 (June 2020: 4.3), followed by the Tages-Anzeiger (4.2; June 2020: 4.2) and from the Confederation (4.0; June 2020: 4.2). The NZZ was rated 5 or 6 by well over half and only 10 percent rated it 1 or 2. 

Bringing up the rear - as it did in June 2020 - is the View with an average grade of 3.5 (June 2020: 3.4). Only a quarter of its readership awarded grades 5 or 6, with almost as many awarding grades 1 or 2. Around half graded the View Compared to all other media, this is the highest percentage of a grade in the 3 to 4 range.  

 

SRF "Tagesschau": competent, but faithful to the state

But where does the Swiss population rank the media surveyed according to the criteria of "objective/independent", "faithful to the state", "competent", "scary/excited", "topical", "critical"? 

Those media that have been given a respectable overall rating are also more likely to be regarded as objective, competent and up-to-date. SRF's "Tagesschau", for example, scores highly on these criteria, with approval ratings of 31, 42 and 48 percent respectively. Its reporting on Corona, however, is not considered critical by the vast majority - only 13 percent agree with the criterion "critical" here. In addition, the flagship of Swiss television - more so than all the other media surveyed - is also considered to be more loyal to the state (agreement: 26%). 

Different the NZZIt is comparatively judged to have little faith in the state (approval: 16%). In terms of competence, the newspaper has the highest approval ratings (approval: 45%). It is also attested a good portion of critical reporting (approval: 27%). 

All the other media surveyed show values of less than 20 percent in terms of critical reporting - with the exception of Watson.ch and SRF "Echo der Zeit" (approval: 27% and 20% respectively). 

 

20 minutes scores points for topicality 

The medium with the largest reach, 20 minutes, receives an unsatisfactory overall grade of 3.8, but a high score of 45 percent approval when it comes to topicality. Only SRF "Tagesschau" and Srf.ch/news are judged to be even more up-to-date. Furthermore, the Corona reporting of 20 minutes and especially of the View as scary compared to the other media (agreement: 33% and 41% respectively). 

In the Survey by the opinion research institute Marketagent.com was exclusively concerned with how the quality of reporting on the subject of Corona is assessed. The most important Swiss-German daily newspapers (print and/or online) and television and radio broadcasts were surveyed. The quality of the reporting was rated by the respondents from 6 to 1 (6=very good, 1=very poor). It should be noted that only people who stated that they used the respective medium actually rated it.  

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