Vienna accused of bribing media

Hans Gasser, the new president of Austrian newspaper organization VÖZ, and publisher of economic paper Wirtschaftsblatt, asked questions about the Vienna city government spending lots of money for ads in ‘friendly’ media (see previous post).

It is suggested that the Vienna government gets favorable reporting in return. Gasser actually said that as a result of these spendings, influencing media is not impossible (Beeinflussung kann nie ausgeschlossen werden).

Engelbert Washietl, journalist and working for the ”Initiative Qualität im Journalismus” quoted Gasser in an article in the Wiener Zeitung and referred to the ad spending as “Bakschisch”, something that is best translated as “bribe”.

VÖZ is according to the article already talking with secretary of state for media, Josef Ostermayer, about the ad spending. Because it concerns taxpayers money, the spending should at least be public and transparent.

As the leading party, the socialist SPÖ, lost their majority in the election last Sunday, the money, was actually not very well spent.

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