Hinter den Kulissen. Das Verhältnis von Journalisten und Chefbeamten im Schweizer Bundeshaus

Roger Blum, Marlis Prinzing


While the relationship between the media and parliaments receives significant attention, little is known about the relationship between the media and the administration. This article explores the complex relations between journalists based in the Swiss capital of Bern and the top-ranking officials and spokespersons of the federal administration. Based on an online survey of the three groups, our findings show that the exchange of ideas between journalists and top officials occurs only rarely and is accompanied by significant personal distance between the two groups. The ties between journalists and spokespersons, however, are closer. Although top officials rarely contact journalists directly, close affinities exist between single ministries and the media, which have an effect on the media's reporting. Furthermore, this survey shows that top officials oppose spin doctoring, and given that relevant issues are already covered by the media, there is no need for such practices. The spokespersons have come to occupy key roles as all external communication activities are channelled through their positions. Overall, our study shows that the distance between journalists and top officials is greater than that between journalists and Members of Parliament.


Switzerland, elite-inregration; inrerrelations between media and administration; spin doctoring; distance

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896