More media transparency


The MEHR!Medientransparenz (MORE!Media Transparency) project focuses on showing how much money public institutions in Austria spend on media cooperation and media advertising. Based on data published by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), the website offers some clear insights into tax-funded media cooperation and media subsidies in Austria.

How much public money is spent on advertising campaigns and subsidies provided to tabloid media such as the “Kronen Zeitung” or “heute”? How do these amounts compare with those received by the “Standard” or the “Presse” newspapers? And how much money does the Austrian Public Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) receive from TV and radio licence fees?

The Media Transparency Act passed by the Austrian parliament in 2011 requires public institutions and certain companies to provide a report on their spending on media cooperation to the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria). The Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) as an agency of KommAustria publishes this data on a quarterly basis.

As part of the MEHR!Medientransparenz project, the data published by the RTR on the website is presented in such a way that anyone interested in taking a look can easily access the relevant information with just a few clicks. The website lists all organisations obliged to provide relevant data to the RTR and all media that receive money from these organisations. The cash flows are clearly illustrated in descriptive diagrams on with options to sort according to institutions that have provided payments or media in receipt of such payments.

Reference project promoting open government initiatives and web visualisation

The MEHR!Medientransparenz project seeks to address interested individuals and aims to contribute towards making open government initiatives more popular in Austria. Such initiatives promote the opening up of government and public administration to citizens and business to encourage greater involvement and participation. Web technology plays a key role in this context. The website developed as part of a student project is a reference project that illustrates the expertise of the Information Management degree programme in the field of web technology, web visualisation and mobile applications.

And by the way: according to data provided by the RTR, in 2014 the Austrian national daily newspapers “Krone” and “heute” received around 35 million euros from public funds – that amounts to almost 100,000 euros per day; by comparison, the “Standard” and the “Presse” together received a total of around 10 million euros. The print media is, however, way behind the ORF – in 2014 the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation received nearly 600 million euros in TV and radio licence fees alone.