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Austria – (C1) Supervising the watchdog ‘control of controllers’

Score in short:

Even though weblogs are becoming more popular in Austria, there are only a few media-blogs so far. Media criticism and public debates are centered on the press, but absent from radio and television.

Score in detail:

Most media blogs are private initiatives launched by journalists or private people, either critically reviewing the news coverage of one specific medium (e.g. or the performance of the tabloid media in general (e.g. www.medienschelte. at). Their public presence is limited and public debates on media developments or news issues rather take place in traditional media. Some magazines specialize in media issues, aiming at journalists as readers and discussing the functions and roles of media for society or debates on journalistic ethics and standards (e.g., Der Österreichische Journalist, Horizont). Journalists’ associations like the journalists’ union have their own magazines (e.g., Kompetenz). furthermore, most newspapers report on media issues and developments, therefore the amount of self-reflection in the Austrian news media is quite high. Compared to other sections, the amount of reports on media developments in Austrian newspapers lies between 2 % (Die Presse) and 6 % (Kronen Zeitung, Der Standard) and is even higher in online newspapers (Stark & Kraus, 2008, p. 310). An outstanding example is the media section of Der Standard (online-version:, which features reports on economic and legal media developments, changes in ownership and financial issues, media performance (with a special focus on the ORF), national and international media trends and critical reviews on media content. In the television sector such forms of self-criticism are lacking. There is no magazine on media performance or journalistic standards, at all.