In March 2018, the Swiss gave a resounding “yes” at the ballot box to the public service provided by the SRG. In doing so, they clearly endorsed the public broadcaster's independent reporting and content produced for Switzerland's language regions as well as people abroad with an interest in Switzerland. Despite the Swiss public’s support for SRG and the services it provides, the referendum campaign brought to light certain shortcomings and unfulfilled expectations. It is now time to make good on our promises and provide the very best content to meet the public's needs while remaining true to our mandate. We at SRG and SWI swissinfo.ch are striving not only to meet the expectations placed upon us but to go beyond them, reinforcing our commitments to excellence, independence and in-depth reporting.
There were two major changes in the management structure of SWI swissinfo.ch in 2018. After a decade as Director, Peter Schibli took his well-earned retirement. Peter Zschaler (Head of Finance and Controlling and SWI Deputy Director) took over the management of SWI swissinfo.ch ad interim from June. In October the SRG Board of Directors appointed Larissa M. Bieler as SWI swissinfo.ch’s new Director, alongside her position as Editor in Chief.
The 2018 emphasis was laying the groundwork for 2019 and beyond: learning from best practices, strategy development and editorial experimentation. Today, SWI swissinfo.ch offers its audiences content based on four pillars:
- The English news desk publishes the latest Swiss news, as it happens.
- Journalists across SWI swissinfo's language services collaborate to provide in depth reports and analyses of issues from their beats. To do this, they've immersed themselves in the issues in dialogue with experts, policy makers and the people their decisions impact.
- SWI's language services report on important domestic stories, boiling them down for international audiences, while offering Swiss perspectives on global issues. Reports in the non-Swiss languages also focus on stories of direct interest to a particular language region or country.
- The production desk covers current affairs, providing a snapshot of a debate or story in the news, explaining the issue in a range of multimedia formats.
The past year was also a period of consolidation that saw SWI swissinfo.ch emerge stronger. Solid audience figures confirmed the excellent collaborative efforts and contributions of all teams, and highlighted our motivation to continue to produce great content to inspire readers.
We also want to encourage, you, our readers, to join us as we go forward, and engage in conversation with us as we strive to tell the stories that matter – with Switzerland at the heart of it all. These are our goals for 2019.
We would like to thank you, dear readers, for your loyalty and the trust you put in SWI swissinfo.ch each day!
The SWI swissinfo.ch Executive Board
Larissa M. Bieler, Peter Zschaler, Hubert Zumwald, Patrizia Provinzano, Christian Burger