Switzerland | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Switzerland remained one of the freest media environments in the world. During 2003 no violations of press freedom were reported. Articles 16 and 94 of the Swiss Federal Constitution provide the legal basis for freedom of expression and the press. However, the penal code prohibits racist or anti-Semitic speech. The largest-circulation daily newspapers are privately owned, chiefly by large media conglomerates. There is a diversity of smaller, regionally focused papers; however, they, too, are subject to increased media consolidation. The public Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR idee Suisse) dominates the radio and television sectors, but legislative efforts are currently underway to open these markets to more private competition. Due to market forces and the multilingual nature of the country, most private stations are limited to local and regional broadcasts. Internet access is open and unrestricted.