Bertil Cottier appointed member of the Federal Media Commission


Institutional Communication Service

3 January 2020

Bertil Cottier, professor of Law at the USI Faculty of Communication Sciences, has been appointed member of the Federal Media Commission (FMEC) for the four-year period 2020-2024.

This extra-parliamentary commission, set up by the Federal Council, consults the authorities on issues related to the media and the development of social communication. Today, in fact, we deal with an information market that has undergone major technological and social changes. "The main media policy issues facing Switzerland today are defined by a strong constitutional element," says Prof. Cottier, and it is precisely to make up for the lack of an expert in media law that the current President of COFEM, Jarren Otfried, has proposed him as a new member in the Commission, in which Cottier will contribute with his expertise in teaching and research areas such as freedom of the media, the rules of radio and television broadcasting, or Internet governance.

The FMEC also helps to find sustainable solutions to shape the Swiss media system of the future. According to Prof. Cottier, there are two main challenges and priorities facing our country in this area: "The first concerns media concentration and the consequent loss of pluralism, which is fundamental in a country like ours which, based on direct democracy, sees access to different sources as a fundamental cornerstone of its political system". The second challenge, on the other hand, concerns media law, which currently regulates traditional media such as the press and broadcasting: "The rise of Internet platforms has revolutionised the supply, access and use of information and requires a thorough review of the relevant legislation", explains Cottier.

There has been much debate in our country about the role of public service, the importance of plurality of information and quality journalism. In this respect, Switzerland is responding to the changes brought about by global digital communications, while remaining aware of the needs of a multilingual and multicultural reality that sets it apart from other countries. The new USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society - with a name that better responds to the current challenges of society - is positioned in this unique context: "I advise the students of our Faculty not only to take an interest in the globalisation of communication, but to pay attention to the unique features of Switzerland. A sound knowledge of the specificities of the national context is essential to attain professional success in our country," concludes Cottier.