European media organisations express support to Swiss public service and local TV and radio stations

On March 4th, Swiss citizens will decide through a national vote whether to abolish the media reception fee, previously collected through the company Billag (hence the initiative’s name “NoBillag”). The current Swiss media system is comprised of public service, private and community media, each sector with its specific functions and roles. The abolition of the national media reception fee would result in the loss of reliable sources of information and put democratic values at risk. In a country characterised by great linguistic and cultural diversity, public service media operated by SRG SSR not only guarantees access to information in all…

Journalists at Swiss news agency strike against job cuts

The European Federation of Journalist’s (EFJ) Swiss affiliates, Impressum and Syndicom, have called for support for the workers from Swiss news agency SDA-ATS, who have been on strike since 29 January 2018. The EFJ expresses its solidarity with workers affected by the SDA-ATS job cuts. The news agency began their strike at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon, which has continued past its scheduled time of 2-5pm on 29 January and is still ongoing. The workers are striking after the agency announced on 9 January 2018 that up to 40 out of their 180 total employees are at risk of losing their jobs,…

Closure of Swiss magazine L’Hebdo: Another blow to media pluralism

Ringier Axel Springer announced on January 23 their plans to close French-speaking magazine L’Hebdo.  Impressum,   the largest journalists’ organisation and the Trade Union of Media and Communications Syndicom  are both deeply concerned about the potential negative impact of the decision on media pluralism, investigative journalism and the future of the media in French-speaking Switzerland. The EFJ expressed its solidarity with their Swiss affiliates and offer full support. A petition was also launched and supported by both EFJ affliates  to demand alternative financial plans to continue or return the title. @EFJEUROPE @lhebdo @IFJGlobal signez la pétition pour @lhebdo https://t.co/zhle3ihJtF — syndicom…

Swiss journalists campaign for collective agreements

Swiss Employment Law is designed liberally and the protection of employees is quite weak compared to other countries. In Switzerland, due to the different circumstances in each language area, the working conditions in the media industry vary from one area to another. While a Collective Agreement for journalists does exist in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, journalists in the German- and Italian-speaking parts have been working without one since 2004 and are therefore constantly facing the consequences of the lack of protection. However, there is reason to hope that this long lasting state of affairs may come to an end…

Tax reduction on digital content must be reinvested into journalism

A delegation of the European Federation of Journalists (composed of EFJ Steering Committee member Urs Thalmann, EFJ Director Renate Schroeder and EFJ Trainee Hélène Brédart) met with Francine Cunningham, Executive Director of the European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA) to discuss issues of relevance to both organisations as well as follow-up of an EFJ resolution on social dialogue in Switzerland. The EFJ representatives outlined the difficult situation for journalists in Switzerland as the publishers continue to refuse to negotiate a collective agreement in the German and Italian speaking parts of the country. Both the EFJ and ENPA agree that the struggle for the…

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Journalist refugee at Swiss Embassy in Azerbaijan

Update (13/06/2015): Emin Huseynov flew out of Azerbaijan on the plane of Switzerland’s top diplomat Didier Burkhalter, who attended the Euro Games ceremony in Baku late on Friday (12/06/2015). Emin Huseynov who had been sheltering for 10 months at the Swiss embassy in Baku, is now in Bern. Julian Assange’s Courage Foundation helped him escape Azerbaijan and fly to Switzerland.   Reportage broadcasted this week by the Swiss national television shows the case of Azeri journalist and human rights defender Emin Huseynov, secretly hidden in the Swiss Embassy in Baku (Azerbaijan) since last August due to a wave of repression…