Digital transformation: rising communications expenditure for municipalities

© Fachhochschule Graubünden

The digital transformation is influencing local communication. A survey by the research team of Prof. Matthias Künzler shows how.

Swiss municipalities are upgrading: they have had to increase their communications expenditure extensively in recent years according to a press release by the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (UAS Grisons) on the analysis of local journalism and municipal communication in the digital transformation.

“The survey of the municipalities highlights that they have recognised the strategic importance of communication: more than 40% have now developed a specific communication concept.” The municipal website is a key element, followed by the local newspaper.

According to the UAS Grisons survey, the municipalities are largely convinced that they are reaching the population with their communications and thus also fulfilling the statutory information mandate.

In addition to the municipalities, Prof. Matthias Künzler’s team also investigated the influence of the digital transformation on reporting in local media as part of NRP 77. They found that while print media still dominates, there is a clear trend towards online offerings.

The biggest challenges for local editorial departments according to the survey are financing journalistic content and recruiting qualified, locally based journalists.