Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

Freedom of the Press - Austria (2003)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 30 April 2003
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Austria (2003), 30 April 2003, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 11
Political Influences: 6
Economic Pressures: 6
Total Score: 23

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 78
Religious Groups: Roman Catholic (78 percent), Protestant (5 percent), Muslim and other (17 percent)
Ethnic Groups: German (98 percent), other, including Slovenian, Croatian, and Hungarian (2 percent)
Capital: Vienna

Austrian media remained free in 2002. The federal constitution and the Media Law of 1981 provide the basis for a free press. Legal restrictions, although seldom invoked, forbid reporting deemed detrimental to morality or national security. Strict libel laws and the political use of libel lawsuits against journalists cloud coverage. The concentration of media ownership limits the pluralism of viewpoints and has raised antitrust concerns. Two media corporations, Mediaprint and Newsgroup, control the majority of newspapers and magazines. The state only recently began to issue private radio licenses, and government-controlled radio still dominates the airwaves. New legislation formally dissolved the state's television monopoly on January 1, 2002. Only one private television station has begun to compete with the state broadcaster. Internet access is unrestricted and widely available.

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