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Free newspapers increase in popularity

Newspapers distributed free of charge in German-speaking Switzerland increased readership last year.

The most read newspaper in 2010 was 20 Minuten which went up 2.7 per cent to 1.35 million readers a day. It’s French-language counterpart, 20 Minutes, saw its numbers drop to 472,000 (-4.6 per cent).

Media research company WEMF said on Monday that nine out of ten Swiss aged 14 years and over read newspapers on a regular basis.

The free evening daily, Blick am Abend, recorded a jump of 22 per cent to 604,000. Blick - from the same publishing house, Ringier - maintained its leading position among the paid newspapers with 623,000 readers.

The paid daily, Tages-Anzeiger, saw a small increase last year to 477,000 readers. It is published by TA Media, the Zurich-based media company that owns several other paid dailies as well as 20 Minuten/20 Minutes.

Switzerland’s prestigious Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) took a big hit, dropping 6.2 per cent to 287'000 readers.

The main French-language newspapers, including Tribune de Genève, Le Temps and 24 Heures also lost ground last year. Le Matin was the only publication (daily and Sunday edition) to increase its numbers.

It was a similar story in Italian-speaking Switzerland where only La Regione gained new readers. and agencies

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