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 radio stations helps tremendously improving your Swiss German skills
Listening to radio stations helps tremendously improving your Swiss German skills

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

City Radio station
Bern –        Radio Energy Bern

–        Radio Bern1

–        Radio RaBe

Basel –        Radio Basilisk

–        Radio Energy Basel

–        Radio X

St. Gallen –        FM1 Today

–        Radio Toxic

–        Radio Melody

Luzern –        Radio Pilatus

–        Radio Sunshine

–        Radio Central

Z├╝rich –        Radio 24

–        Radio Energy Z├╝rich

–        Radio Z├╝richsee

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:

Sunday newspapers

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.

There is a big variety of newspapers in Switzerland
There is a big variety of newspapers in Switzerland

Free newspapers

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.

National newspapers

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:

City Newspaper
Bern –        Berner Zeitung

–        Der Bund

Basel –        Basler Zeitung
St. Gallen –        St. Galler Tagblatt

–        S├╝dostschweiz

Luzern –        Luzerner Zeitung
Z├╝rich –        NZZ

–        Tagesanzeiger

Magazines for every taste

Swiss people enjoy reading their magazine on the weekend
Swiss people enjoy reading their magazine on the weekend

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
Finance –        Bilanz

–        Handelszeitung

–        Finanz und Wirtschaft

Women –        Annabelle

–        Bolero

Consumer –        Der Beobachter

–        K-Tipp

People –        Schweizer Illustrierte
Culture –        du

Political orientation

The Swiss media landscape can also be categorised according to its political orientation.

Political orientation Newspaper
Right –        Weltwoche 

–        Schweizerzeit

Right liberal –        NZZ

–        Basler Zeitung

–        Luzerner Zeitung

Center –        Blick

–       SonntagsZeitung

–        St. Galler Tagblatt

–        Der Bund

Left liberal –        Tagesanzeiger

–        S├╝dostschweiz

–        SonntagsBlick

Left –        WOZ

–        20 Minuten

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!

Stay informed and use Swiss German newspapers and radio stations
Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *