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The City of Geneva offers the media its support: pilot project and initial measures

With the situation of the written press being of particular concern in light of its importance to the democratic process, the Administrative Council of the City of Geneva has decided to introduce a media support charter.

soutien aux médias

Having initiated the #ACTMedia day of reflection in September 2018 during his year as Mayor of the City, M. Sami Kanaan presented this dossier, together with a number of proposals, to the Administrative Council which approved the first phase of the media support plan together with the desire to pursue the reflections launched at regional level more than a year ago.

Adoption of a media charter

New solutions are required with regard to support for journalistic production. In order to provide a clear framework for its action, the Administrative Council has adopted a Media Charter. By means of a few clear bullet points, this text provides the theoretical framework governing the position of the City on this issue while bringing together the guiding principles and the values promoted in terms of media support.

On the basis of this charter, the City of Geneva has decided to test a range of pilot measures with a view to implementing more substantial proposals in the future on a measurable basis. These preliminary measures will be assessed in 2021

Supporting the activities of the media: creating media support grants for projects of public interest

Within its field of action, the Administrative Council wants to implement measures creating as many ties as possible between print media publications and their readership with a view to promoting democratic debate. The decision has therefore been taken to support the cultural and civic role of the press by providing the different print media publications within the municipality with a budget of 40,000 francs. Based on the model of the independent bookstore grants created by the City in 2013, this sum is provided by the Department of Culture and Sport. Limited to 5,000 francs per project per year, these sums are intended to facilitate the organisation of themed debates and meetings, or any other relevant and innovative project focusing on the informative role of the media. This measure will take effect on 1 September and the conditions for allocation will be available from 1 July 2020.

Free dispensers: a welcome helping hand

Another tangible measure is that the tax on newspaper dispensers in public areas will be relaxed for print media publications from 1 June 2020. This measure is valid for publications as varied as GHI, Tout l’Immobilier, Le Courrier and French-speaking Tamedia publications (Le Matin Dimanche, Tribune de Genève and 20 minutes). The revenue from this tax totalled approximately 40,000 francs in 2018.

Young people at the heart of the Administrative Council’s action

With some 51% of young people in Switzerland reading the news on the social networks ( and fake news proliferating on these same platforms, the Administrative Council felt it appropriate to focus its efforts on young citizens. This audience comprises the citizens of tomorrow. To ensure that this measure meets the corresponding needs, the City of Geneva – in partnership with the Chancery of the Republic and Canton of Geneva (which is strongly committed to the issue of civic education) – conducted a test poll in a vocational school. The pupils were able to familiarise themselves with the voting and counting process as part of the vote of 9 February 2020, forming their opinion on the basis of press articles selected by the Tribune de Genève, Le Temps and le Courrier.

From this same pedagogical perspective, and to reiterate the importance of diversifying our sources of information in order to form your own opinion, the City of Geneva – in partnership with publications offering fee-based subscriptions – has developed the MIXLINFO brochure. This educational, 16-page brochure introduces readers to four printed media publications within the region (la Tribune de Genève, Le Temps, Le Courrier and MIXLINFO was distributed at the annual Promotions Citoyennes event which brings together close to 700 young people from around the canton who have reached the age of civil majority. A third proposal open to young people, organised in partnership with the publications, is the availability of digital subscriptions at preferential rates. All of these measures are presented on Finally, an event entitled “Quelle place pour les jeunes dans la presse quotidienne” (what role for young people in the daily press) will be held on Thursday 27 February 2020 alongside the evening devoted to the municipal elections organised by the Parlement des Jeunes Genevois.

The Administrative Council also intends to take a closer look at the possibility of subsidising subscriptions for young people who have reached adulthood. Finally, a more generalised evaluation across several years of purchasing services (advertisements, etc.) is currently being conducted with regard to the City of Geneva – including the services purchased from platforms such as JobUp for job offers which previously accounted for part of the financial viability of press publications.


Félicien Mazzola

Collaborateur personnel

Présidence du Département de la culture et du sport

Tél. +41 22 418 95 25


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Article modifié le 24.02.2020 à 20:30