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Bernhard Krumpel: Media transparency: whoever seeks, finds

Bernhard Krumpel: Learning from Kahrstadt

Due to chats, the financing of the media and its dependence on politics is discussed very harshly. For example, there is a demand for more transparency in the funding of media. Everyone can get their own picture today.

editorial staff
17 October 2021 07:57

For a number of years now, the media have been more transparent from an economic point of view than large parts of the population are apparently aware of. So media meets the so-called “Large disclosure obligation”. Accordingly, in the imprint of the website, for example, the ownership structure and the basic page direction must be shown. How much advertising money the media receive from which public bodies is also shown transparently on a quarterly basis on the website of the regulatory authority RTR. That is the basis Media Transparency Act. Incidentally, the so-called “head ban” for politicians is defined there; this is intended to prevent politicians from being shown in public advertisements. Whereby a violation against it remains questionable without consequences.

That leaves the press funding. Anyone who would like to find out more can get to KommAustria with just a few clicks of the mouse, where all data on press funding are available. This transparency is important and good, because media diversity and thus diversity of opinion is the irreplaceable basis of a functioning democracy.

Media diversity is diversity of opinion is democracy

Every year in the summer semester I start the lecture series “Political Communication” with an invitation to the students: No matter what political views you have. Also read the media that do not cover your views.

The reason is clear: anyone who works in journalism, public relations or politics must also know how others see the world. That means venturing out of your own zone of opinion and understanding how and why the “other side” is defending its position. This not only shows respect for the opinion of others, but mostly creates a fundamental understanding of other points of view. And where there is understanding, discussions can be held on an equal footing.

It is particularly interesting when the course is politically mixed. When, for example, young social democrats, libertarians and Greens discuss, laugh and learn together, lively. It is a sign of hope that this generation will develop lifelong levels of discussion through studying together.

The crisis is not over. On the contrary.

Indeed, the political landscape is currently staring intently at the competition between the parties. This overlooks the fact that other challenges are looming at the moment. The supply chains are still a long way from going as hoped. This is putting a strain on production in Europe and will have an impact on the economy. Drastic personnel bottlenecks arise. Not only the hospitality industry is desperately looking for people willing to work, many other industries are also feeling the shortage of employees. In addition, energy prices are rising rapidly and will affect those people for whom the short-time working of the past few months has already made a hole in the stock market.

Who is concerned with it? Apparently nobody. Instead, apart from the realities of life, many people suggest how Sebastian Kurz his role as club chairman and whether there will be new elections.

Political coffee brewing

The answer is simple: Nobody knows. Neither Kurz, nor his internal or non-party opponents. Because the ÖVP is currently in a dynamic where no one can foresee how it will end. Only one thing is clear: the decision will be made in the first half of 2022. Because in 2023 there will be four state elections: Lower Austria, Tyrol, Carinthia and Salzburg. The local people’s parties there will do everything in their power to ensure that there is clarity about the direction of the federal party and any new elections by September 2022. At the moment, the parties can only be advised to devote themselves to the challenges that affect people’s daily lives.

In any case, the judiciary will have to deal with the existing allegations very thoroughly in this decade, as those involved in the proceedings will be jogging through all legal instances. But even after that, Sebastian Kurz is still a young man.

Parliamentary work works better than communicated

The beneficiaries of the status quo are voter movements outside the current party spectrum. They only need to collect the numerous dissatisfied people. With its entry into the Upper Austrian state parliament, the new MFG party has impressively demonstrated that it does not even require a lot of money to found a new company. Although: There are enough constructive forces in politics. Everyone who has seen the talk “Politics live” on ORF III that evening draws hope. The opposition, represented by Nikolaus Scherak (NEOS), Jörg Leichtfried (SPÖ) and Dagmar Belakowitsch (FPÖ) showed that respectful interpersonal dealings with the representatives of the governing parties, Andreas Hanger (ÖVP) and Nina Tomaselli (Green) is possible. Despite all the political whining, it must be said once and for all: There are a lot of good people in Parliament who may have different approaches to the future of Austria, but still work on a lot together.

As a “communication man” I can only do that all 40 committee chairs recommend in Parliament that joint decisions should also be communicated more effectively, not just the issues at stake. So that people can perceive not only the differences, but also the constructive cooperation in Parliament. I have heard the sentence “You don’t even know who to vote for from the dispute” in the last few weeks. I hope the party strategists too.

He is one of the best communication experts in Austria. We are talking about the PR professional and political insider Bernhard Krumpel (49). His motto: “Always stay focused”. He needed a clear focus, among other things, in his complex jobs for politicians, ministries and corporations. In addition to his consulting work, the economic sociologist is happy to pass on his knowledge to students. He is the author of specialist articles, such as the shareholder rights directive and its impact on corporate communications, as well as the co-editor of three volumes of books entitled “Specialties of PR”.

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