Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34

Country profiles of media usage: comparing traditional and new media

The transition to the information society and the transformation of the socio-technical communication system bring about new challenges for collective actors' communication strategies. How can target groups be addressed under the conditions of media change, convergence, crosslinking, channel multiplication and audience fragmentation? Which channels are suitable for reaching a mass audience and how can the comparatively narrow segment of social multiplicators and decision-makers be reached?


Along with traditional media, the Internet today provides specific online services like digital newspapers, news-portals and especially social media platforms like blogs and social online networks. This opens up new avenues for public information and communication, which should be considered by collective actors in the context of their communication-strategic planning, and could be used alternatively or in addition to traditional channels.


The overall aim of this project is the analysis of the structural conditions of the media in selected countries that have strong relevance for Swiss foreign affairs. Thereby the project focuses on the country specific evaluation of the relative relevance of old and new communication channels, which will be determined by comparing basic data on the reach, usage and attributed credibility of available media channels. The research analyzes the role and importance of different media services as well as specific platforms and products and identifies powerful channels in the countries under research. Moreover, an analysis of Internet usage will be conducted, the data for which is derived from the largest academic comparative longitudinal project regarding Internet development – the World Internet Project (WIP) that has been measuring the reach and usage of the Internet in 30 countries worldwide since 1999.


The project is carried out on behalf of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).


The report is available for download here