The press landscape in Switzerland is diverse. On the one hand because of the trilingualism of the country, on the other because Swiss people consume more printed media than, for example, watch TV. Quite different from the south of Europe, where the opposite is the case.
Listening to the radio helps you learn Swiss German
Reading the newspaper and listening to the radio is not only useful to be informed about current events. It also helps you a lot when learning a foreign language. Especially listening to local radio stations trains your ear for the dialect and the melody.
Swiss Radio and Television
The only public radio and television station in Switzerland is called “Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF)”. The stations are available in the respective national language of the region (German, French, Italian). There are a total of six German-language channels:
- Radio SRF 1
- Radio SRF 2 Kultur
- Radio SRF 3
- Radio SRF Virus
- Radio SRF 4 News
- Radio SRF Musikwelle
In addition, it runs three special-interest channels: Radio Swiss Pop, Radio Swiss Jazz and Radio Swiss Classic.
SRF is financed by fees. This means that every Swiss household pays CHF 365.- a year, regardless of whether there is a television or one is watching TV. The decisive factor for paying the fee is the possession of equipment that can receive electronic media. This includes computers, smartphones and laptops.
Each region has its own radio station
In addition to SRF, each city or region has its own radio stations. They keep you up to date on local events and the presenters present their programmes in the finest dialect. So it’s an ideal way to familiarize yourself with the dialect of your place of residence.
The biggest German-Swiss local radio stations
|Bern||– Radio Energy Bern|
|Basel||– Radio Basilisk
– Radio X
|St. Gallen||– FM1 Today|
|Luzern||– Radio Pilatus|
|Zürich||– Radio 24|
Diverse print landscape
The Swiss read a lot. Accordingly, there is a wide range of daily and weekly newspapers and magazines. Here is a selection:
Until the 1960s, various daily newspapers also appeared on Sundays. After more and more newspapers deviated from this practice, Ringier launched the SonntagsBlick in 1969, the first actual Sunday newspaper in Switzerland. In 1987 the SonntagsBlick was in competition with the SonntagsZeitung.
At the turn of the millennium, a new type of free newspaper appeared in Switzerland, the so-called “commuter newspapers”. These appear daily and, like paid newspapers, offer a universal range of topics. Of the many different newspapers that have tried their hand at the market, there are currently two: 20Minuten and Blick am Abend. With 1 million readers, 20Minutes has become the most widely read daily newspaper in Switzerland.
The best-known daily newspaper for the whole of German-speaking Switzerland is the tabloid “Blick“. There are also two weekly magazines covering the whole of German-speaking Switzerland. These are the conservative Weltwoche and the leftist WOZ.
Local daily newspapers
Of course, every city has its own newspaper. Here are the most important ones:
|Bern||– Berner Zeitung
– Der Bund
|Basel||– Basler Zeitung|
|St. Gallen||– St. Galler Tagblatt|
|Luzern||– Luzerner Zeitung|
Magazines for every taste
There is a corresponding magazine for almost every interest. Many Swiss subscribe to their favourite magazine and devote a lot of time to reading on weekends.
|Interest / topic||Magazine|
|Consumer||– Der Beobachter
|People||– Schweizer Illustrierte|
The Swiss media landscape can also be categorised according to its political orientation.
|Right liberal||– NZZ|
– Der Bund
|Left liberal||– Tagesanzeiger
Improve your Swiss German thanks to radio and newspaper
No matter which radio station or newspaper you choose and no matter how well you already speak Swiss German. Regular listening and reading of the media will help you to make enormous progress in learning the dialect. And if you also attend our online course, you will speak Swiss German in no time!