Tense atmosphere in Swiss media sector
Media group Tamedia has replaced the long-standing editor-in-chief of La Tribune de Genève, Pierre Ruetschi, with his deputy. In view of tensions between the company's management and its employees many are saying the move was forced. Tamedia employees had protested against the company's cost-cutting measures this summer. What are the ramifications for the Swiss media landscape?
Scaring away all the committed journalists
Soon there will be no more resistance to Tamedia's style of leadership, Le Courrier fears:
“This management style has scared off journalist colleagues with a passionate interest in what they do, people who saw it as their vocation to seek out hidden truths, inform the public, and never let go of a story. Many of them no longer even try to get a fresh start in the profession but switch to other areas instead. 'Of course you may go your own way if you no longer believe in the company', Tamedia has let them know. Scorched-earth policy has its limits: soon there will be nothing left to burn.”
The focus of Switzerland's biggest private media company on good business figures is by no means unique, Socialist municipal councillor Olivier Gurtner complains in Le Temps:
“This way of navigating by sight and losing contact both with the public and with employees is seen often in Swiss media - for example at the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG in March of this year. On the day after the clear victory of the referendum against broadcasting fees, the head of the colossus announced that 250 jobs would be cut. The media captains seem to be blind and have lost their way. ... The question is simple: do they really want a diverse media landscape with strong, intelligent, sassy and curious media, or do they want brands with neither a soul nor an identity?”