11 February 2000

Alert

Journalist dismissed


Incident details

Gerhard Marschall

journalist(s)

fired

Media Release

February 11th 2000


IFJ Protest Over Victimisation of Austrian Journalist


The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest organisation of journalists, today condemned the victimisation of Gerhard Marschall, a journalist at the leading regional paper Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, who was sacked on the day that the new Austrian government was sworn in.


Marschall, who has written critically about the new Right-wing political coalition in Austria, says the editor and the paper's owner told him that "due to the new political situation I could no longer be afforded". He was told that his style is no longer acceptable, even though he was highly acclaimed for more than five years, not only by readers but also by the paper itself.


"It is a sign of bad times for journalism when a writer is dismissed because his independent and outspoken views don't suit a publisher and editor who are bending in the political wind," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.


The IFJ has called upon newspaper publishers and media owners in Austria to resist all forms of political pressure and to guarantee the independence of journalism.


"Journalistic independence must not be sacrificed when political changes take place. The right to express opinions - even robust and challenging ideas of opposition - must be ring-fenced to protect journalists from political manipulation," says the IFJ. "Austria's media owners must declare themselves unequivocally in defence of editorial independence."


The IFJ represents more than 450, 000 journalists in 130 unions and associations in 103 countries.




Source

International Federation of Journalists
International Press Centre, Residence Palace
Bloc C, second floor, Rue de la Loi, 155
1040 Brussels, Belgium

Fax:+ 32 2 2352219
Austria

IFEX members working in this country 1

 
  • Most covered free expression issues in this country
More from Austria
  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Austria

    Legislators unveiled a draft freedom of information law, but media workers and watchdogs criticized several of its provisions, including a restrictive definition of “information,” vague and expansive exceptions, a lengthy response window, and the lack of an independent oversight body.

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Austria

    Ranked 31st in annual global media freedom report

  • Freedom of the Press 2014: Austria

    Ranked 30th in annual global media freedom report