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Swissinfo.ch News as of July 2011
Please note - have just received this information regarding Swissinfo.ch:
Dear swissinfo.ch readers,
As announced last March, swissinfo.ch was the subject of a review by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation to determine its future offer. The project is now completed and the results are clear: despite restructuring and job cuts, swissinfo’s mandate is confirmed and will focus on an international audience.
Please see the details below:
swissinfo.ch readies itself for the future
The board of directors of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo’s parent company, accepted on June 28 a new strategic plan for swissinfo.ch. The online service will now focus mainly on readers abroad interested in Switzerland as well as the Swiss abroad. swissinfo.ch will offer background information on Swiss politics, the economy, culture and social affairs in ten languages, including Russian from 2013. Editorial processes will be reorganized. The yearly costs for the news mandate abroad will be cut by CHF 9 million.
Guaranteeing a long-term mandate
For the past ten years, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled an information mandate for the Swiss government, complementing the work of the online services of the SBC’s radio and television stations. During this period, the framework conditions have changed fundamentally for swissinfo.ch. The availability of news services has increased rapidly and internet usage is focusing more and more on multimedia. To guarantee the long-term viability of the government mandate for international news and information, the board of directors of the SBC decided on June 28, 2011, on the basis of proposal made by the executive board, to adopt a new strategic offer as well as a new organizational structure for swissinfo.ch. The new offer will serve as a negotiating basis for the pending discussions with the federal authorities concerning swissinfo’s mandate for 2013-2016.
swissinfo’s offer will be streamlined. The three national language departments – French, German and Italian – will be reduced and merged into a single department. A Russian subsite will also be launched once it is approved by parliament. In the future, swissinfo.ch will report in English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. News will remain the core element of the swissinfo.ch offer, as well as vote and election dossiers in French, German and Italian. Besides text, video, photo galleries, audio slideshows and audio podcasts will remain part of the offer.
Job losses covered mainly by natural attrition
With the reorganization, swissinfo.ch will lose 40 of 126 full-time equivalents. Around one third of these losses will be incurred by the editorial services, with the remainder in the support sector. Around two thirds of the losses will be accounted for by natural attrition, early retirements and transfers to other SBC units. For the remainder, redundancies will be necessary and a social plan will be implemented.
swissinfo.ch will remain in Bern
swissinfo.ch will remain as an SBC unit in Bern. With the reorganization, its budget will be reduced from CHF 26 million by a third. The annual savings of around CHF 9 million will be shared between the SBC and the federal government.
I thank you for your support,
swissinfo.ch readers council
quoted from email received 04.07.11