New rules of conduct – After chat scandals: what is now prohibited on ORF


In the super election year, new rules of conduct apply for journalists on state radio. This concerns lucrative part-time jobs and especially personal comments on social networks with a clear political slant. Just like in football, penalty kicks require first a yellow card and then a red card.

After the resignation due to excessive political proximity and conversations by leading ORF journalists, there was a fire on Küniglberg’s roof. Managing director Roland Weißmann then set up an ethics committee with media and legal experts in the summer.

In the crosshairs of the experts: comments and posts on social networks or unbridled, lucrative part-time jobs such as moderation, with which the stars of state radio sometimes doubled their annual salary. After six months, we finally have some sort of etiquette guide.

“It’s about independence and credibility”
The code of conduct must be approved by the next board in March. “There will be new rules, also with consequences. It is about independence, credibility and acceptance among the population,” emphasizes Thomas Zach, group leader of the ÖVP friends on the ORF supervisory board.

And what will be banned in the local media body in the future?
An insider: “For example, personal comments on social networks that are harmful to the company.” Especially in times of a budget tax for everyone and in the run-up to the super election year, the ORF does not want to be vulnerable to political messages with a clear bias and imposes a muzzle.

And what is the punishment?
So far there have been written warnings (one radio journalist has three) without legal consequences. This is going to change.

Just like in football, first the yellow card, then the red card
Based on football, there should be a yellow card first and then a red card. ORF managers are also introduced to the new ‘etiquette rules’ during training.

Source: Krone


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