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Easyvote survey Don’t trust political journalists, Swiss youth say

young people sitting at a table in a committee room in the Swiss parliament building

Limited trust in journalists but a majority of respondents said they had confidence in the Swiss government

(Keystone)

Young citizens in Switzerland appear to lose interest in political information, and their trust in media is waning.

According to an opinion poll, some 51% of respondents, aged 18, said they did not care about politics – down from 55% the previous year and minus 11 percentage points compared with a survey in 2014.

The easyvote monitor, commissioned by the federation of youth parliamentsexternal link, found that young people make less use of newspapers, television and radio, while social media channels only partially replaced these traditional media as information sources.

The umbrella organisation said neutral and “fact-based” information platforms were becoming increasingly important in the age of fake news.

Social media and digitalisation play an increasingly important role to engage young people in politics, but it is not clear whether it has a lasting impact or if it is just a temporary influence, it added in a statement published on Monday.

The survey – the third of its kind – was carried out by the leading GfS Bern research instituteexternal link among 1,271 students in several regions of the country between October and November last year.

Civic education 

The umbrella organisation said the findings of the survey were critical and it called on schools to step up civic education.

The easyvote programmeexternal link aims to raise turnout among the 18 to 25-year old citizens in votes and elections to 40%. The initiative is part of efforts to support youth parliaments, boost political participation and political education.

swissinfo.ch/urs

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