Status: Free
Legal Environment: 9
Political Influences: 8
Economic Pressures: 6
Total Score: 23

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 79
Religious Groups: Roman Catholic (78 percent), Protestant (5 percent), other [including Muslim](17 percent)
Ethnic Groups: German (88 percent), non-nations [includes Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma] (9.3 percent), non-nations [includes those who have lived in austria at least three generations] (2 percent
Capital: Vienna

Austria remained a free media environment in 2003. The federal constitution and the Media Law of 1981 provide the basis for a free press. Seldom-used legal restrictions, which forbid reporting deemed detrimental to morality or national security, remain. Observers, including the European Court of Human Rights, complain about the use of libel and slander laws to shelter politicians and other government officials and the impact these laws have on coverage. Media concentration is a concern as a conglomerate of the two largest publishing groups, Newsgroup and Mediaprint, controls 60 percent of the daily newspaper market and nearly 100 percent of the magazine market. The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) continues to dominate both the radio and television markets. However, a variety of private radio stations exists, and laws passed in 2002 permit private television stations. In June 2003, ATV Plus, the first private TV channel, was available nationwide. Internet access is unrestricted and widely available.

This 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.