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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 14:48 GMT
The press in Austria

As might be expected in a relatively small country, the Austrian press scene is concentrated around a handful of Vienna-based national newspapers, which dominate the market.

Austria's 8m citizens have 15 national and regional dailies to choose from, with the country's two main tabloids - Kronen Zeitung and Kurier - reaching more than half the population. The largely privately-owned press has undergone several waves of concentration since World War II, but the market has been stable recently.

Regional newspapers are still important, beating the national papers in some federal states. In others, however, they have been overtaken by the regional editions of the tabloid giant Kronen Zeitung.

Daily newspapers are widely read, and competition between them is fierce. With 296 copies sold for every 1,000 inhabitants, Austria is in the middle of the European newspaper readership table, ahead of Italy, Spain and Poland, and about level with Germany and the United Kingdom.

The print media are still attractive to advertisers, with advertising take-up rising by 2.5% in 2004.

While most papers state that they are owned by their publishing houses, media ownership is nevertheless concentrated, with a strong foreign - especially German - presence. German media group Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, for instance, has a 50% stake in Mediaprint Vienna, which controls both the biggest-selling national tabloids.

Austrian papers also benefit from an unusual - if not entirely uncontroversial - system of government subsidies, said to be aimed at underpinning pluralism in the media.

Main papers

Kronen Zeitung

Based: Vienna
Founded: 1900
Circulation: 850,000 (2005)
Owner: Krone-Verlag

By far the country's most widely-read newspaper. Popularly known as the "Krone", it is aimed at a broad section of society, and serves up a typical popular tabloid fare of entertainment, sport, celebrity news, leisure, health and scantily-clad girls, as well as politics and current affairs. The paper, printed in a full-colour, red-top style layout, comes in both a national edition and regionalised editions for each of the nine federal states.

Der Kurier

Based: Vienna
Founded: 1954
Circulation: 172,000 (2005)
Owner: Kurier Zeitungsverlag

Austria's second-largest newspaper. The tabloid Kurier is far less populist than the Kronen Zeitung, with a greater focus on national and international news, politics and current affairs. Aimed at public-sector employees, the Kurier also has a more traditional layout. Along with its nationwide general edition, the Kurier has regional editions in four of the nine federal states. The paper says it is independent of political parties or interest groups.

Die Presse

Based: Vienna
Founded: 1848
Circulation: 76,000 (2005)
Owner: Die Presse Verlagsgesellschaft

The oldest of Austria's national dailies, as well as the best-selling quality paper. Although published in tabloid format, it is decidedly broadsheet in outlook, with a sober, modern layout. The paper prides itself on targeting decision-makers, university graduates, top managers and high-earners. Historically it has had strong links to the political establishment, and its commentaries lean to the centre-right. After a history of independence, Die Presse was taken over by the Styria publishing house, based in the southern city of Graz, in 1991.

Der Standard

Based: Vienna
Founded: 1988
Circulation: 71,000 (2005)
Owner: Der Standard Verlagsgesellschaft

A relative newcomer to the Austrian media scene, broadsheet Der Standard was founded in 1988 with the help of German publishing giant Axel Springer Verlag. The paper describes itself as liberal and politically independent, although its commentaries tend to reflect a centre-left outlook. Published in a traditional broadsheet layout on a distinctive pink background, Der Standard targets senior managers, civil servants, academics and students. In 1995, the Axel Springer Verlag sold it shares in the paper, but the Munich-based liberal paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung bought a stake in 1998.

Salzburger Nachrichten

Based: Salzburg
Founded: 1945
Circulation: 126,000 (2005)
Owner: Salzburger Nachrichten Verlag

A regional paper based in the western state of Salzburg, but also selling a nationwide edition. The circulation figure combines the sales of both editions. The paper is broadsheet in its news focus, with an emphasis on domestic politics, and is published with a traditional sober layout. Founded immediately after the war in 1945 by the occupying US Army, the Salzburger Nachrichten describes itself as an "independent newspaper for Austria".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


Country profile: Austria
26 Apr 04 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Austria
26 Apr 04 |  Country profiles

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