Please note that all major Swiss newspapers are published in one of Switzerland's four national languages (German, French, Italian or Rumantsch). The number of newspapers available and of newspapers presented here roughly corresponds to the number of Swiss people speaking the corresponding language.
Figures in brackets: number of people reading this paper every day (total population: 7,100,000)
|Swiss Newspapers in German||Swiss Newspapers in French|
Swiss newspapers in Italian
Swiss newspapers in Rumantsch/Romansh
Most newspapers in Switzerland do have a long tradition reaching back far into the 19th century. All major Swiss cities and towns had two or even three rivaling local newspapers presenting the views of the major parties in the region: liberals (entrepreneurs), conservatives (craftsmen and farmers) and in industrial centers also socialists (industrial workers).
After World War II Switzerland's national public radio and television were forced by political decisions to present balanced and independent news reports and they met this challenge very well. The changes towards a more open and dynamic society common to all western European nations after the 1968 students' protests went exactly in the same direction: people increasingly wanted to get informed instead of being indoctrinated by partisan opinion leaders.
The partisan print media found themselves confronted with changing expectations as well as with increasing amounts of information to be selected and presented. By the 1980's it had became too expensive to produce so many quality newspapers for such a little market of only 7 million inhabitants. The solution was a concentration process leaving only one quality newspaper per region usually presenting issues from different points of view.
Remaining twin newspapers in a region usually are economically interdependant (as in Bern and Ticino) and the concentration process is likely to go into a next round merging larger regions as more and more Swiss people live in one region and work in another which reduces the identification with a small region. So far, only Zurich's elitarian newspaper NZZ has successfully resisted a merger and a transformation into a multi-faceted forum newspaper. Nevertheless its editors compete with their rivals of Tages-Anzeiger in gaining control over the remaining smaller newspapers.
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