Two new board members for the QuaJou association

Alexandra Pavlović from CH Media and Larissa Rhyn from Tamedia join the Quality in Journalism Association. The General Assembly at SRF also included a debate on the consequences of the austerity measures and job cuts.

New faces on the QuaJou board: Alexandra Pavlović (left) and Larissa Rhyn. (Pictures: Enisa Kropfreiter/zVg.)

The Association Quality in Journalism QuaJou elected Larissa Rhyn and Alexandra Pavlović to the Board of Directors at its Annual General Meeting on Thursday evening.

Alexandra Pavlović is Head of Social Media at CH Media and also works as Online Daily Manager, where she is primarily responsible for national and international topics. Previously, she was deputy head of the online editorial department of the St. Galler Tagblatt. She learned her journalistic trade at the local editorial office in Rorschach. She studied popular cultures, journalism and Slavic linguistics in Zurich. She completed her Master's degree in Hamburg at the Hamburg Media School, where she obtained an Executive Master of Arts in Journalism.

"By exchanging ideas with each other, we help to further develop journalism and focus on important trends and topics that affect our industry," says 37-year-old Pavlović, describing her motivation for joining the QuaJou association.

The 31-year-old Larissa Rhyn is head of Tamedia's editorial office for the Swiss parliament and deputy head of the domestic department. Previously, she worked as a parliamentary editor for SRF and the NZZ worked. She started her career in journalism at the Südostschweizwhere she worked as a freelance journalist during her studies. She studied political science in Zurich and Montreal and completed her Master's degree in International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

"I would like to join the QuaJou board because I think it is important that journalism continues to develop - and that quality remains a key criterion," says Rhyn.

Barbara B. Peter, trainer and podcast producer at Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF. She has been a volunteer board member of the association since 2016 and was its Co-President from 2020 to 2022.

The new ten-member QuaJou Board therefore consists of the Co-Presidium with Fabienne Kinzelmann (Handelszeitung) and Franz Fischlin (self-employed) as well as the board members Urs Bühler (NZZVice President), Marco Schnurrenberger (SRF, Treasurer), Christian Beck (Personal), Silke Fürst (IKMZ), Alexandra Pavlović (CH Media), Eva Pfirter (Keystone-SDA), Larissa Rhyn (Tamedia) and Claudia Schlup (MAZ). Also working for the QuaJou are Valeria Aiello (Administration) and Charlotte Widmaier (Project Officer Journalism Day).

SRF management and quality debate

In the run-up to Thursday's General Assembly, a guided tour of the Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF newsroom took place. This was followed by the Q-Club discussion on the topic of "The pressure to save money and time is increasing - what does this mean for journalism?". The panel included Nicole Anliker (Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of Newsroom NZZ), Conny Tovar (Co-Head Media Creation Ringier Media Switzerland) and Tristan Brenn (Editor-in-Chief SRF TV). The Q-Club was moderated by QuaJou board members Urs Bühler and Marco Schnurrenberger.

This meant that representatives from private media companies and the public service sat opposite each other on the podium. Tristan Brenn noted: "There used to be less competition. Everything was nicely organized in boxes: Radio, TV and print. Today, everyone meets online." When asked about making savings, he said that the lemon was slowly being squeezed out: "A public service company like us cannot simply generate additional income. We have to try to position ourselves more efficiently - or, as a last step, cut back on programming."

Ringier has also invested heavily in the newsroom. Conny Tovar said: "The days when we could rely on readers automatically coming back to us are over." On the podium, she expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunities that artificial intelligence now offers in everyday editorial work. Tovar assured the audience that the time gained would be reinvested in journalism.

When asked whether the NZZ Nicole Anliker replied to the question of whether we had a sponsor that never felt the need to make savings there: "For many years, we have also looked at the very small expenditure items." However, there have also been job cuts in the traditional writing departments. Instead, investments have been made in other areas such as visuals and podcasts. "Since 2015, the journalistic area has actually been expanded on balance," says Anliker.

The QuaJou association, founded in 1999 - 25 years ago - sees itself as a quality lobby for the Swiss journalism industry. It leads and accompanies the quality debate and organizes the annual Journalism Day (JourTag) as well as topical discussion rounds (Q-Clubs). Its members mainly come from editorial offices, media companies, media trade unions, professional associations, media science and education.

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