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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Friday, February 2, 2007

Press releases often presented unfiltered in the media

Rainer Stadler reports on a study that examines the impact of PR on Swiss media. According to the study, local broadcasters, privately-owned radio stations and websites are particularly dependent on news from public relations departments – over half their reports come directly from PR departments, and are at most shortened. Moreover, sources often remain undisclosed, so that press releases are sold as if they were the work of the media in question. According to Stadler, the print media is "most likely to sift through information and provide genuine analyses. However, in view of its current financial difficulties, even the press are under pressure at the moment. The need to economise is threatening the potential for reflection. The sharp competition among the print media appears also to be causing problems from a journalistic point of view: too many papers are competing for readers and advertising customers within a very cramped space and with too few resources at their disposal. Informing the public remains a precarious project that must be continually fought for."

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