Confederation launches action plan for the safety of media professionals

The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) is launching a national action plan to protect media professionals. The reason is increasing threats and violence against journalists. Various measures are intended to raise public awareness.

Source: Bakom.

The action plan is the result of a Council of Europe resolution. Bakom developed it together with the media industry, the office said. Swiss media are increasingly confronted with hostility and hate speech on the street and in the digital space. In addition, there are unfounded or abusive lawsuits to suppress unpopular reports, so-called "Slapps" (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation), it said before the media in Bern.

Although the laws offer journalists a certain degree of protection, according to Media Minister Albert Rösti, there is a need for "greater awareness of the importance of independent media," as he is quoted in the Bakom release. The action plan fills the corresponding gap.

Protection from physical violence

The plan focuses on physical and psychological integrity. It is geared to the special concerns of journalism. These include better recognition of the profession and role of media professionals and their protection against verbal attacks and physical violence.

The action plan comprises nine measures in the three action areas of awareness and prevention, protection and support in the event of threats and violence, and legal framework conditions.

Measures envisaged include raising young people's awareness of the value of the media, an industry website on how to deal with threats and violence, and a round table of media and police. The stakeholders want to implement the measures gradually and with existing resources.

The national action plan is a recommendation and is not legally binding. The stakeholders will take stock in 2027.

The plan earned positive reactions in the industry on Wednesday. Both the media unions SSM and Syndicom as well as the professional organization Impressum and the publishers' association Schweizer Medien welcomed it in their statements. Imprint hopes that "sufficient resources will be deployed" for implementation (sda).

More articles on the topic