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SOS-ORF is an independent and non-partisan Austrian citizens' initiative that has been collecting signatures on the Internet since May 2006 for a qualitative improvement in the program of Austrian public broadcasters (ORF), the restructuring of the editorial offices in the field of television information and the end of political influence.


The initiators around Alfred J. Noll, who was already one of the initiators of the popular initiative “Welfare State Austria”, take the view that Austrian broadcasting has increasingly lost quality in recent years and the pressure and influence of the governing parties is steadily increasing ( “. ... the government must be reminded that it does not own the ORF ” ).

The management of the public service broadcasting should be reminded by SOS-ORF that it has the task of a high-quality and politically independent programming. Another point of criticism is the structuring of the editorial offices in the information area, which barely enables the journalists to work critically and independently ( "Critical journalism has to be fought hard by the employees" ).

An “independent and competent supervisory board that does not accept any party mandates” is also required, as well as, in view of the election of the ORF general director on August 17, 2006, a “public hearing for the position of general director, the information director , the program director, to give qualified candidates a fair chance. "

Initiators and supporters

By July 11, 2006, more than 71,000 people had registered in the online signature list. Amongst other things:


The trigger for the initiative was a speech by the ZiB -2 presenter Armin Wolf , who in his speech after receiving the Robert Hochner Prize on May 17, 2006, sharply criticized the current situation on ORF. Wolf spoke of a de facto monopoly of the ORF in television information about Austrian politics , "because the little political information about Austria that is offered by the commercial competition hardly finds viewers." Therefore, maximum internal pluralism is required, the Wolf missing on ORF. There is a lack of independent broadcast editors "with their own editors and reporters and with real, actually decision-making, broadcast managers who are not only called that, but who are actually responsible" . Wolf called for "internal competition and the resulting variety of content and opinions" , only in this way can "a de facto monopoly in a functioning democracy be justified".

He continued to speak of "almost unrestrained political influence on the ORF" , which is not a new phenomenon. “But since the so-called 'Wende'” , when the ÖVP - FPÖ / BZÖ coalition took office in February 2000, “and especially since 2002, things have changed again: Today only one political camp dominates. And all that remains of the balance is the horror. ” Finally, he demanded: “ When deciding who will take up leading positions in the ORF in the next few years, only one consideration should ultimately be important: who is capable of the best to make the most informative, cleverest, most exciting, most diverse and overall most exciting program? "


In parallel to SOS-ORF, the Greens started their own internet signature campaign under the title Save the ORF. Several Green mandataries have also signed up as supporters of the non-partisan initiative ( Alexander Van der Bellen , Peter Pilz , Therezija Stoisits , Johannes Voggenhuber ).


  1. SOS-ORF imprint
  2. Armin Wolf's speech in full: The ORF monopoly of the party secretariats
  3. Save the ORF ( Memento of the original of July 10, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , an initiative by The Greens @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links