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Wiener Zeitung staff resist planned closure

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es. Vienna, December 14, 2022

Staff vote unanimously against plans to kill off world’s oldest surviving daily paper

Starting life as the Vienna Diarium August 8, 1703

The paper reported that the now-expired review process of the WZEVI law, proposing to turn the paper into an electronic platform, had not really happened.

“The editorial team is also irritated by the fact that quality journalism and the editorial statute are not mentioned, and thus the improvements conveyed in the media package are also taken ad absurdum…. More than 200 supporters from politics – across all parties – art, science, and institutions have recently called for an 18-month moratorium in order to find a solution for the continued existence of the Wiener Zeitung together with the editorial staff.

The late, great reporter and editor Hugo Portisch in his heyday in front of Austrian Parliament

“After all, this is not only the oldest daily newspaper in the world still in existence, and so represents a cultural asset for many, including the late Hugo Portisch, and has an archive of inestimable value, it has also repeatedly managed to build a bridge to the present and the future.

“Now this is to be brought to an end – with a draft law which has considerable shortcomings in many areas. The editorial team is firmly opposed to these plans.

“The editorship requests the Minister therefore urgently to put this draft back. It cannot be a future-proof foundation for a relaunch of the Wiener Zeitung if a draft law encounters such widespread criticism of virtually all paragraphs and if the entire opposition also rejects the draft in its entirety…

“This bill does not represent a viable basis for a sustainable future for the Wiener Zeitung,” said the report. “Instead it revealed massive weaknesses, both legal and fundamental.”

 

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