Kurier, Vienna. 20/03/2023
Wiener Zeitung: The most recent draft law primarily provides for an online medium, with 10 annual print editions. Transformation should be fully implemented by December 31, with an editorial statute.
by Christoph Silber
The republic’s Wiener Zeitung will be continued as a publication, training, and further education medium, primarily online. The starting shot for is July 1 of this year. This emerges from the latest draft for a federal law on the Wiener Zeitung GmbH and the establishment of an electronic announcement and information platform of the federal government (WZEVI law).
Depending on the funds available, it will also be published 10 times a year in print form. Furthermore, it should be allowed to offer various digital products (e.g. newsletters, podcasts).
In accordance with the new public service mandate, it should promote an understanding of political issues in a contemporary manner with an independent editorial team, consolidate democratic awareness, and bring contemporary and current aspects of politics, state, and democracy closer to the citizens.
The Wiener Zeitung is to be transformed in accordance with the new requirements….
In order to promote quality journalism and strengthen the innovative power of Austria as a media location, the Media Hub Austria is also to be set up and operated at Wiener Zeitung GmbH. Among other things, this should provide practical programmes (“training on the job”), which, in addition to classical journalism, also teach “the necessary digital, technological and economic skills”. Media Lab Bavaria take place.
Wiener Zeitung: Sharp criticism of the government’s draft law
To ensure journalistic independence, an editorial statute is provided for in the WZEVI law, and a scientific advisory board is to support the Wiener Zeitung in an advisory capacity. The publication of the Wiener Zeitung is endowed with 7.5m €, the Media Hub Austria with an annual 6 million €
In addition, the Wiener Zeitung GmbH is to work as a “Content Agency Austria” for public institutions, prepare information in the public interest and disseminate it via various channels. This includes information on the legal situation, government services and related changes or innovations, job offers, assistance, etc.
The draft law also provides for a federal government electronic announcement and information platform (EVI) to be created there, which can be used free of charge and without barriers. This is intended to counteract the fact that public announcements are often not available centrally, uniformly and comprehensively today. The performance of these tasks is endowed with 3m€ annually.
- A weekly paper is possible for the media manager Michael Rossipal. He wants to finance the oldest still existing daily newspaper in the world primarily through advertising.
Media manager Rossipal is interested in taking over the “Wiener Zeitung”. As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, his concept envisages converting the republic’s own daily newspaper into a daily online service and publishing a printed edition once a week.
Discussions on this in the Federal Chancellery apparently did not lead to any result, as a planned government law envisages a different future for the newspaper.
Rossipal, who once worked as editor-in-chief of the online version of “Kronen Zeitung” and was responsible for digital agendas at the News publishing group, developed the concept two years ago.
- He doesn’t assume that the “Wiener Zeitung” will be able to appear in print every day in the future because it “simply can no longer be financed”. However, a weekly paper is possible; he would like to finance the world’s oldest still existing daily newspaper primarily through advertisements. He wants to get by with 1.8m€ in start-up capital and 65 people for the company – 18 of them trainees in an editorial office. Rossipal is convinced that his concept could work. “But the political will doesn’t seem to be there,” he said.
- AEJ 22/03/23 Wiener Zeitung latest – creeping govt takeover