Home Editorials RIP Wiener Zeitung

RIP Wiener Zeitung

617
0
SHARE
Wiener Zeitung, one of the oldest newspapers in the world ended its daily print edition on 30 June 2023. It will continue to operate online and distribute a monthly print edition, the details of which are yet to be announced. Founded in 1703 under the name Wiennerisches Diarium it  was considered the official mouthpiece of the Imperial Court due to its being supplied information directly and exclusively by the Court.
Since 1780, the paper was known as Wiener Zeitung (meaning Viennese newspaper in English) and in 1810 it became the official government newspaper. In 1857 the government acquired the paper and it was printed until 1997 by the Austrian State Printing Office. The newspaper was closed by the Nazis after the Anschluss – starting with the  abolition of the editorial  in February 1939, and an year later, the remaining official journal closed entirely. The first edition after World War II appeared on 21 September 1945 and though it was not  a mass circulation paper, it was influential for the readership included the government, corporate and academic elite of Vienna, as well as of Austria. Two decades ago, came under the control of  a GmbH (Limited Liability Company), owned by the Austrian Government. It functioned as the official gazette, for it had all announcements relating to civil service vacancies and changes in the commercial register, which were  printed in the Official Journal insert of Wiener Zeitung.
Until 2004 it also used to publish the official version of newly passed Austrian laws. However the arrival of the internet , and declining readership of the paper led the Supreme Court to decree earlier this year, that this was a ‘monopolistic practise’, and that no useful purpose was being served by forcing the corporates to publish their annual reports and commercial announcements in print, when the online readership was at least twenty times higher.
Is this a pointer of the times to come ? Will the print editions give way to digital editions, or will both run parallel to each other. Perhaps it’s a generational issue for while the senior citizens like the feel of the paper, the millennials are more comfortable with surfing.