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The free newspaper, “20 Minutes”, has increased its circulation by almost 40 per cent in a year, becoming one of the most popular dailies in Switzerland. The 30-page tabloid, which carries Swiss and international news in short, easy-to-read articles, has seen its readership rocket from 526,000 to 720,000.

Launched in December 1999, 20 Minutes is now the second-biggest newspaper after the German-language tabloid, “Blick”, which pulled in 746,000 readers – up 12,000 on 2002. Its success is all the more remarkable since it is only available in the German-speaking part of the country. It had been feared that the arrival of free papers in Switzerland would lead to falling circulation for the country’s established dailies. But figures released on Monday by a Zurich-based advertising media research firm reveal that last year was generally a good one for the industry.

Source: http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.html?siteSect=105&sid=4215715 –