Media, Communication & Internet
Especially if you speak German, it might be interesting for you to read local newspaper in Austria. International papers are available sometimes with a day delay in big cities and often even smaller villages of the touristy regions (Salzkammergut, ski resorts, Wachau). Hotels might be able to get international papers for you.
Freedom of speech and freedom for the press ("Meinungsfreiheit" and "Pressefreiheit") are granted in Austria and the country has a longstanding tradition in media. Most of Austria′s press and media were either banned or politically controlled during the time of Nazi-rule, and so essentially all the media was re-founded after the Second World War.
Some papers claim to be derived from 19th century publications of the Habsburg Empire, but to be fair that′s mostly promotional.
Papers & Magazines
Austria has one of the most consolidated press markets of Europe, which has kept antitrust agencies busy on many occasions. Even papers that compete for similar market shares are often owned by the same media consortium. In general terms, you can distinguish between daily papers ("Zeitungen" or "Tageszeitungen") and weekly magazines and periodicals with a stronger focus on background information and society.
There are five main daily papers published nation-wide with more or less well pronounced ethics regarding quality: "Die Presse" (www.diepresse.com), "Der Standard" (www.derstandard.at) and "Der Kurier" (www.kurier.at) in Vienna, the "Salzburger Nachrichten" (www.salzburg.com) from Salzburg (strong in Western Austria, marginal in the East) and the "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" (www.nachrichten.at) from Upper Austria. There are also smaller quality papers of regional significance, such as the "Tiroler Tageszeitung" (www.tt.com) from Tyrol, or the Styrian "Kleine Zeitung" (www.kleinezeitung.at).
Regional newspapers are common and often free and operated based on advertisements. The "Wiener Zeitung" (www.wienerzeitung.at) is derived from an 18th century paper and claims to be Austria's oldest. More importantly, it is owned by the republic and publishes online in English.
By far the most commonly read paper (related to the population of Austria apparently holding the highest market share in the World) is the tabloid "Die Neue Kronen Zeitung" (www.krone.at). In late 2006, a new tabloid called "Österreich" (www.oe24.at - modelled mostly after the American "USA today") was launched to direct competition with the "Krone". Internationally, "Die Presse" and "Der Standard" are regarded to be the most "respected" daily papers of Austria.
Important magazines and weekly periodicals are "Format", "News" (www.news.at) and "Profil" (http://profil.at/); and the main German magazines "Spiegel" (www.spiegel.de) and "Focus" (www.focus.de). In the magazine sector, it will be fairly easy to get international ones in Austria - my beloved "Economist" (www.economist.com), "Spectator" (www.spectator.co.uk) and "Time" (www.time.com) are available at least in all cities.
Radio & Television
Traditionally, the national public broadcast ORF (www.orf.at) has a very prominent role within the radio and television industries. Backed by a monopoly until fairly recently, competition from the private sector has not harmed the ORF dramatically (yet).
There are two regular TV channels, ORF1 and ORF2, and a third one focussing on weather and tourism, TW1. The ORF also contributes to the German, Swiss and Austrian collaborative channel 3SAT. The private channel ATV broadcasts nationally and there are regional channels in many areas with marginal importance. Many Austrian households receive German TV channels, consisting of the public ARD, ZDF and regional channels, as well as the private ones, most notably RTL, SAT1 and Pro7.
Radio-wise, there are four main channels by the ORF: Ö1 (http://oe1.orf.at) with a classical music and educational programs; Ö2 with a program specific for the federal province; the very big Ö3 (http://oe3.orf.at/) with mainstream international rock and pop music; and the slightly alternative FM4 playing contemporary music, often with German lyrics. FM4 targets mostly young people with higher education (students) and is of particular interest for international visitors and tourists: a fair portion of the presentation is done in English, the news are always presented in German, English and French. Many regional radio channels supplement these offers without having nation-wide importance.
Access to the internet is common in all of Austria, even in remote areas. In Vienna, the area around the Museumsquartier has a wireless LAN. There are internet cafés in all major cities and local tourism offices will know where you can find them. Independent guidebooks will also give names and addresses. Hotels often provide internet access for their guests.
Practicalities & Useful Bits
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