Press Council reprimands several media

The Press Council considers the reporting of the Basler Zeitung on the hospital lists of both Basel to be in breach of the duty of truth. The Jungfrau-Zeitung, 20 Minuten and Teletext were also reprimanded by the Press Council.

In the article of the Basel Newspaper titled "Arbitrariness at the health authority", the health directors of the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft were accused of favoring public hospitals over private hospitals in service contracts. The text appeared in the printed edition and on the online portal on March 4, 2021.

The Press Council has now partially approved a complaint against this. The accusation of arbitrariness weighs heavily. However, it was not sufficiently substantiated. On the other hand, the majority of the competent chamber did not consider the allegation that the authorities had resorted to tricks and had invented a "phantom hospital" on the list of hospitals in order to gain lucrative orthopedic operations for the Basel University Hospital to be a violation of the duty to tell the truth.

The TX media house, to which the Basel Newspaper had taken the position that the authorities had been given sufficient opportunity to comment. The term "phantom hospital" was also justified.

Advertising insufficiently marked

The Press Council has also approved, in whole or in part, complaints against the Virgin Newspaper, 20 minutes as well as the SRF Teletext.

In the case of the Virgin Newspaper was about a paid article about a car dealership in Frutigen. In the opinion of the Press Council, this was insufficiently marked as advertising.

20 minutes was reprimanded twice: Firstly, because too many details about a suspect were given in the coverage of a homicide of a woman in Emmenbrücke LU in July 2021, so that the suspect could also be identified by people outside his environment. However, the Press Council does not consider the presumption of innocence to have been violated in this case. Contrary to the complainant's claim, the suspect's privacy had not been violated.

Wrong conclusion on vaccination figures

In the second reprimand against 20 minutes is about the reporting on the Corona pandemic, as is the case with Teletext. Both media had wrongly concluded from figures published by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) in October 2021, according to which seven percent of those who died of Covid-19 since January of the same year had been fully vaccinated, that the remaining 93 percent must have been unvaccinated.

The Press Council also accuses both media of having corrected the relevant reports too late. The complainant had 20 minutes and Teletext were also accused of distorting facts. On this point, the Press Council rejected his complaint. (SDA)

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