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Switzerland slides one place in 2019 press freedom ranking

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In 2019, Switzerland lost one place slipping from 5th to 6th place out of 180, according to the latest world ranking of press freedom by the organisation Reporters Without Borders.

The change was largely driven by the stronger performance of Denmark, which moved up into 5th place.

According to the report, the press in Switzerland continues to face economic pressure and to suffer from a worrying increase in ownership concentration linked to the digital revolution.

In Switzerland, the collapse of the traditional newspaper business model has set off a wave of layoffs and cost-cutting. The national news agency ATS has been through a major restructuring, and the French-language daily Le Matin abandoned its paper edition last year, resulting in the lay off of numerous staff.

However, in a promising parallel development, several new media outlets publishing solely online have emerged in recent years. They include Republik in Zurich and Bon pour la tête in Lausanne. Another, Heidi.news is due to be launched soon in Geneva, said the report.

In a March 2018 Swiss voters rejected a proposal to abolish Switzerland’s broadcasting fee, which would have dealt a huge blow to the nation’s public broadcasting.

The report also notes that the Swiss authorities are being restrictive in their implementation of a law giving citizens the right to receive copies of public administration internal documents. The journalists’ organization Transparency Law has responded by demanding more transparency.

Full story here
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