The Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) – Austria


The "Worlds of Journalism" Study is an academically driven project that was founded to regularly assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The principal purpose of the research project is to help journalism researchers, policy makers and practitioners better understand the changes that are taking place in the professional orientations of journalists, the constraints under which they work, and the social functions of journalism in a changing world. Such a study is especially relevant at a time of unprecedented change in public communication and dramatic transformation within the institution of journalism, all of which may have important ramifications for society and public discourse. The study therefore aims to assess the state of journalism in Germany, Austria and Switzerland - comparing and contrasting it to that which obtains in other societies around the world. Like in the first phase of the project (2008-2011), the study focuses on differences in journalism cultures (the role perceptions, epistemological orientations and ethical views of journalists), as well as on perceived influences on the news and journalists' trust in public institutions. The Austrian study was accompanied by several workshops and a book series on "Medienpolitik und Recht (Media Politics and Law)".


Austrian Science Fund FWF (D-A-CH Project I-1341: Mapping Change in Journalism)

Cultural Department of the City of Vienna (1st WJS phase)

CMC Staff

Marlene Gsenger (September 2017 - January 2018)

Marie-Isabell Lohmann (January 2014 - January 2017)

Andreas Riedl

Josef Seethaler (Project Leader)

Survey Research:

Marta Barwinska

Valentina Dopona

Fridolin Mallmann

Cooperation Partners

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hanitzsch, Department of Communication Science and Media Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Prof. Dr. Vinzenz Wyss, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

The “Worlds of Journalism” study is a joint effort of researchers from 67 countries from around the world.



  • 25/05/2017 , San Diego, CA
    Andreas Riedl: 
    Journalistic role perceptions as an expression of democratic potentials? Comparative evidence for the democratic orientation of European journalists
    Preconference "Media Performance and Democracy - The Debate Continues" to the ICA 67th Annual Conference
  • 01/04/2017 , Düsseldorf
    Andreas Riedl: 
    Journalistische Selbstverständnisse als Ausdruck demokratischer Potentiale? Demokratietheoretisch fundierte Ergebnisse einer Befragung österreichischer JournalistInnen [Journalistic role perceptions as an expression of democratic potentials?]
    13. Düsseldorfer Forum Politische Kommunikation
  • 12/11/2016
    Josef Seethaler,  Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Precarious working conditions in journalism? A comparative analysis of the situation in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
    6th European Communication Conference – ECREA
  • 11/11/2016 , Prag
    Josef Seethaler,  Marie-Isabell Lohmann,  Andreas Riedl: 
    Changing notions of democracy – changing roles of journalism? Results of a multi-method study in Austria
    6th European Communication Conference – ECREA
  • 27/07/2016 , Leicester
    Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Does western journalism still provide public service?
    Annual conference of the International Association for Media Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • 14/07/2016 , Auckland
    Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    The future of public service in western journalism
    World Journalism Education Congress
  • 25/06/2016 , Kassel
    Andreas Riedl: 
    Welche JournalistInnen für welche Demokratie? Demokratietheoretisch abgeleitete Selbstverständnisse bei österreichischen JournalistInnen im Spiegel gegenwärtiger journalistischer Wandlungsprozesse [Which journalists for which democracy? ]
    8. Kolloquium des Nachwuchsnetzwerks politische Kommunikation (NapoKo)
  • 31/03/2016 , Leipzig
    Josef Seethaler,  Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Ökonomischer Druck auf Journalisten in Medienunternehmen: alarmierende Verhältnisse oder viel Lärm um Nichts? [Economic pressure on journalists: alarming condition or much ado about nothing?]
    61st Annual Conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)
  • 16/03/2016 , Metz
    Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Can the free daily press provide public service?
    Conference on the Free Daily Press in Europe 1995-2015
  • 06/10/2015 , Kristiansand
    Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Can there be a future for a public function in European journalism
    Global Journalism Symposium 2015. Values shaping our future
  • 17/07/2015 , Leipzig
    Gabriele Melischek,  Marie-Isabell Lohmann: 
    Von der Presse- zur Medienstatistik [From newspaper statistics to media statistics]
    Symposium: Historische Zeitungsstatistik: Erkenntnisinteressen, Quellen und Verfahren
  • 08/11/2013 , Zürich
    Gabriele Melischek,  Josef Seethaler: 
    Von Koexistenz zu Kongruenz? Zum Wandel der österreichischen Medien- und Kommunikationsstrukturen [The coexistence of seemingly incompatible elements? On the transformation of Austrian media and communication structures]
    "Soziale Ordnung durch Kommunikation?" Kolloquium & Feier zu Ehren von Otfried Jarren
  • 20/03/2012 , Wien, ÖAW
    Josef Seethaler: 
    Das Redaktionsgeheimnis zwischen Machttransparenz, freier Meinungsäußerung und politischer Partizipation
    Symposium Medienpolitik und Recht 6 - Redaktionsgeheimnis
  • 16/10/2008 , Wien
    Josef Seethaler: 
    Öffentliche Aufgabe und Wahrhaftigkeitspflicht in der Berichterstattung: Kommunikationswissenschaftliche Aspekte
    Medien und Recht I: Öffentliche Aufgabe und Wahrhaftigkeitspflicht in der Berichterstattung

Books and Monographs

Books and Monographs

  • Koziol, H., Seethaler, J., & Thiede, T. (Eds.). (2013). Medienpolitik und Recht II. Presserat, WikiLeaks und Redaktionsgeheimnis. Medienpolitik und Recht II. Presserat, WikiLeaks und Redaktionsgeheimnis. Wien: Jan Sramek.
  • Koziol, H., Seethaler, J., & Thiede, T. (Eds.). (2010). Medienpolitik und Recht: Media Governance, Wahrhaftigkeitspflicht und sachgerechte Haftung [Media policy and law] (p. 214). Wien: Jan Sramek.

Articles and Book Chapters

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Lohmann, M. -I., & Riedl, A. (2019). Public nuisance or an asset to democracy? Does the free press aim to provide a public service? An empirical study examining journalistic functions within the normative framework of the EU. Scoms: Studies In Communication Sciences, 18, 215–229. doi:10.24434/j.scoms.2018.02.002
  • Riedl, A. (2018). Which Journalists for which Democracy? Liberal-representative, Deliberative and Participatory Roles among Austrian Journalists. Journalism Studies, n/a, n/a. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2018.1519638
  • Seethaler, J. (2017). Media systems theory. In P. Moy (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Communication. New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0185
  • Seethaler, J. (2017). New worlds of journalism: How Austrian, German and Swiss journalists perceive innovation and change. In A. Kaltenbrunner, Karmasin, M., & Kraus, D. (Eds.), Journalism report V: Innovation and transition (pp. 53-67). Wien: Facultas.
  • Lauerer, C., Steindl, N., Hanitzsch, T., Lohmann, M. -I., Seethaler, J., Dingerkus, F., & Wyss, V. (2017). Alarmierende Verhältnisse oder viel Lärm um Nichts? Ökonomischer Druck auf Journalisten in Medienunternehmen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. In I. Stapf, Prinzing, M., & Filipovic, A. (Eds.), Gesellschaft ohne Diskurs? Digitaler Wandel und Journalismus aus medienethischer Perspektive (pp. 201-218). Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Seethaler, J., & Melischek, G. (2015). Koexistenzen von scheinbar Inkompatiblem? Zum Wandel der österreichischen Medien- und Kommunikationsstrukturen [Coexistences of incompatibilities? Changes in the Austrian media and communication structures]. In K. -D. Altmeppen, Donges, P., Künzler, M., Puppis, M., Röttger, U., & Wessler, H. (Eds.), Soziale Ordnung durch Kommunikation? (pp. 67-88). Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Seethaler, J. (2014). Politische Kommunikation [Political ccommunication]. In M. Karmasin, Rath, M., & Thomaß, B. (Eds.), Kommunikationswissenschaft als Integrationsdisziplin (pp. 219-244). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Seethaler, J. (2013). Das Redaktionsgeheimnis zwischen Machttransparenz, freier Meinungsäußerung und politischer Partizipation. In H. Koziol, Seethaler, J., & Thiede, T. (Eds.), Medienpolitik und Recht II. Presserat, WikiLeaks und Redaktionsgeheimnis (pp. 145-160). Wien: Jan Sramek.
  • Seethaler, J. (2013). Politics. In P. Simonson, Peck, J., Craig, R. T., & Jackson, J. P. (Eds.), Handbook of communication history (ICA handbook series) (pp. 302-314). London, New York: Routledge.
  • Hanitzsch, T., Seethaler, J., Skewes, E. A., Anikina, M., Berganza, R., Carlos, J., et al. (2012). Worlds of journalism: Journalistic cultures, professional autonomy and perceived influences across 18 nations. In D. H. Weaver & Willnat, L. (Eds.), The global journalist in the 21st century. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Seethaler, J. (2012). Krise des Journalismus - Handlungsbedarf für Politik, Medienunternehmen und Journalisten [The crisis of journalism - A call for action for companies, politicians, and journalists]. In O. Jarren, Künzler, M., & Puppis, M. (Eds.), Medienwandel oder Medienkrise (pp. 81-92). Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Hanitzsch, T., Seethaler, J., Hanusch, F., Mellado, C., Anikina, M., Berganza, R., et al. (2011). Mapping journalism cultures across nations: A comparative study of 18 countries. Journalism Studies, 12, 273-293. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2010.512502
  • Koziol, H., Seethaler, J., & Thiede, T. (2010). Vorwort [Preface]. In H. Koziol, Seethaler, josef, & Thiede, T. (Eds.), Medienpolitik und Recht. Media Governance, Wahrhaftigkeitspflicht und sachgerechte Haftung [Media politics and law] (p. v-viii). Wien: Jan Sramek.
  • Hanitzsch, T., Seethaler, J., Berganza, R., Cangoz, I., Coman, M., Hamada, B., et al. (2010). Modeling perceived influences on journalism: Evidence from a cross-national survey of journalists. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87, 7-24.
  • Hanitzsch, T., & Seethaler, J. (2009). Journalismuswelten - Ein Vergleich von Journalismuskulturen in 17 Ländern [Worlds of journalism - A comparison of journalism cultures in 17 countries]. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 57, 464-483.
  • Seethaler, J. (2009). Rezension von: Oliver Hahn; Roland Schröder (Hrsg.), Journalistische Kulturen: Internationale und interdisziplinäre Theoriebausteine (Köln: Halem, 2008). Rezensionen:kommunikation:medien, 16. Juni 2009. Retrieved from
  • Lohmann, M. -I., & Seethaler, J. Medienkonzentration in Österreich: Eine Langzeitanalyse [Media Concentration in Austria. A long-term study]. Media Perspektiven.

Research Papers

Research Papers

  • Lohmann, M. -I., & Seethaler, J. (2016). Journalists in Austria: Country report. Retrieved from

Popular Publications

Popular Publications

  • Seethaler, J. (2016). Unparteiische Beobachter unter Druck [Interview mit Patricia Käfer]. Die Presse. Retrieved from
  • Seethaler, J. (2008). Medien und Recht [Media and the law]. Thema: Das Forschungsmagazin Der Öaw, 3.

Popular Talks

Popular Talks

Congress Organisation

Project Meeting, Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 19 September 2014 

Series of lectures: Medienpolitik und Recht II [Media Policy and Law II] (with the Institute of European Tort Law, Austrian Academy of Sciences), Vienna, 2011-2012

Series of lectures: Medienpolitik und Recht I [Media Policy and Law I] (with the Institute of European Tort Law, Austrian Academy of Sciences), Vienna, 2008-2009