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Hard news, no Chocolate

Foreign Correspondence from Switzerland

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  • Co-Projektleiter/in : Dr. Guido Keel
  • Projektstatus : abgeschlossen
  • Drittmittelgeber : Interne Förderung
  • Projektpartner : IPMZ
  • Kontaktperson : Guido Keel


From a comparative perspective, foreign correspondence from Switzerland is in many ways exceptional. A small, yet trilingual country without crises and with high costs of living hardly represents a place where many foreign correspondents are situated. However, Switzerland also happens to seat the headquarters of many international organisations as well as corporations. Therefore, we find three types of correspondents in Switzerland: One traditional correspondent who covers Swiss politics as well as chocolate, watches and tourism. This kind of correspondent is indeed rare and prone to be substituted by parachute journalists and freelancers who provide the occasional stereotyped story on Switzerland and monitor major political events. The second type, is far more important in Switzerland. Following Hamilton/Jenner (2004), they might be labelled premium service foreign correspondent. They are working for Reuters or Bloomberg (which together are the media providing for almost half of the full-time correspondents situated in Switzerland) and deliver, often highly specialized, financial and economic news. The third kind are correspondents who are stationed in Geneva to cover the international organisations located in that city. This kind of correspondent does not cover Swiss issues, but just happens to be in Switzerland because that is where the international organisations are located.