The end of Wiener Zeitung after 320 years

Status: 06/30/2023 1:36 PM

The world’s oldest daily newspaper was published in print for the last time today. “Wiener Zeitung”, whose first issue appeared on August 8, 1703, will only be available online in the future.

The world’s oldest daily newspaper, the Wiener Zeitung, has suspended its print edition. “116,840 days, 3,839 months, 320 years, 12 presidents, 10 emperors, 2 republics, 1 newspaper,” read the front page of the state, but it is an editorially independent publication today. “Wiener Zeitung” will appear online in the future. A monthly print edition is also planned.

A total of 63 contract terminations related to change. The company said the editorial staff would be cut from 35 positions to 20 people. The Wiener Zeitung describes itself as the world’s oldest daily newspaper still in publication.

In an article published in the latest issue, the editors give this title to the “Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung” in Lower Saxony, which has existed since 1705.

It was first published in August 1703

The Wiener Zeitung was originally founded as the Vienneric Diarium. The program was in the first edition of August 8, 1703, to publish the news “without a little rhetorical and poetic make-up”—that is, to convey the sober news.

Recently, however, the paper, known as The Quality Medium, has only sold about 8,000 copies in print per day. The print edition has been discontinued because the most important source of funding was abolished after the change in the law: in the past, entries had to appear in the commercial register in the “Wiener Zeitung” for a fee. He has now switched to online advertising. This decision by the conservative Chancellor’s Party ÖVP and the co-governing Green Party was criticized by the opposition and the editors of the newspaper “Wiener Zeitung”.

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Andreas Babler, President of SPÖ, described the print edition of “Wiener Zeitung” as “a bittersweet day for Austria as a media and cultural country”. He had declared that he would look for ways and means to restore the daily print once the government was back in charge.

Anger, sadness and grief

Wiener Zeitung editor-in-chief Thomas Seifert told the Austrian news agency APA that he felt a mixture of anger, sadness and grief at the end of the newspaper’s 320-year history. The government failed to find a buyer.

“Stormy times for journalism also mean tough times for democracy,” said today’s editorial, calling for more, not less, quality journalism.

The latest issue also includes interviews with former Austrian chancellors Franz Vranitzky and Wolfgang Powell. Arnold Schwarzenegger can also be found in the latest version. Seifert said in an interview with the newspaper “Der Standard” that nostalgia and melancholy will be the leitmotif of the latest issue. The newspaper’s last circulation was increased to 50,000 copies.

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