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8.3. The future of new media in Switzerland

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Internet and new media have grown very quickly in Switzerland. In this work many examples showed the importance it has taken in the Swiss media landscape. Although its market share is still little compared to other countries like the United States for instance Internet is on pace to become the number one media in the country. For newspapers this has created problems mainly due the culture of the “everything free” that has cannibalized many enterprises of traditional press. But in the future new media can come to the rescue of newspapers.

Newspapers readership is going down but in Switzerland there is a real interest of the citizens for information. This call for news can be answered with new media. As seen in chapter four new media has certain advantages over newspapers that can be put to good use. With the help of new media it could lead to improvements brought to journalism. Quality journalism is necessary to the democracy as mentioned several times in this work. If newspapers are able to make a transition to new media and bring with them good editorial contents it would be tremendous.

Allison Silver who was employed by the Los Angeles Times and New York Times had the following to say regarding the question of online reporting: “a way of restoring trust to the reader, a way of creating that bond between reader and reporter, because there‟s a level of transparency on the Internet that isn‟t possible in print.”(82) She believes that a story on the Internet is “is a continuous narrative, she said, citing links to information that allow readers to follow the reporting.” New media and Internet allow the reader to follow continuously an investigation and that is much more difficult in newspapers. This is an example of how new media can help quality journalism continue and a lot of parameters are in place in Switzerland so this transition can happen.

Additionally new media offers a lot of new opportunities for journalism. There is nothing definite right now regarding new media and journalism so it opens up a lot of possibilities for editors to use them and create something valuable with the help of the tools offered. Of course it will be a challenge but the openings are there to create something exciting for the citizens of Switzerland.

A key factor in the future of new media will be financing. It is very difficult to produce any good of quality without money and it is exactly the same for information. Media owners in Switzerland have to find a way to make people pay for information. In return they have to produce journalism of quality. Journalism is a public good and as such it should be rewarded with money considerations.

As big as the negative influence of new media on newspapers was in these past years it can become just as positive for them in the future in Switzerland. The new technologies available allow different aspects that are positive for journalism: “technology based resources can increase speed and, sometimes, the accuracy of information being reported.”(83) Other aspects like accessibility to information at all times, transparency, quickness of access and a few other come to mind. If media companies are able to create products that can be integrated to new media and that are paid for, then new media has a bright future ahead.

This will take time until such predictions can happen. In 2010 there is still a lot of work left to do to arrive in a situation where information is of good quality most of the time. But once these developments start happening then the new media and Internet will provide a lot of help to journalism.

83 Gunter, p. 98

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