Austria's news in education work honoured for excellence

Vienna, Austria, (PresseBox) - Zeitung in der Schule (ZiS – News at School), an initiative founded by the Austrian Newspaper Association (VÖZ), has been been honored as a “Center of Youth Engagement Excellence” by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), for its innovative and strong News in Education programs that have reached more than 1 million students in the past decade.

“Our ‘Center of Youth Engagement Excellence’ designation honors initiatives that have a deep, long-term commitment and devote resources to news literacy and youth engagement, ” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA. "ZiS has been running since 1995 and in 2016 alone has involved more than 100.000 students."

Nadja Vaskovich, CEO of ZiS noted that “although Austria is among the richest countries in the world, one in five Austrian teenagers cannot properly understand, use and reflect on written texts according to the latest OECD PISA results, Therefore, ZiS’s efforts are more important than ever – concerning not only the faith of the newspaper industry, but the future of the country.”  

Gerald Grünberger, CEO of VÖZ, concurred, pointing out that “ZiS is Austria’s largest private initiative enhancing media and reading literacy of children and young people on a national level. The programme is supported by almost all of the country’s print media and promotes our democracy.”

ZiS has developed a variety of different projects. For example, all Austrian schools are encouraged to participate in ZiS’s Newspaper Project and to order free newspapers for four weeks. Hence, the Austrian newspaper publishers reach about ten percent of all the Austrian pupils throughout all grades and all kinds of schools. ZiS also offers trainings for teachers and student teachers on how to use newspapers and journals in class in the context of media literacy. Journalists give them insights on how newspapers work – from September to June 2016 ZiS trained nearly 500 teachers and students.

Austria’s ZiS is the 16th initiative to be designated a Center of Youth Engagement Excellence. The others include: the Newspaper Association of America’s American Press Institute, Asociación Nacional de la Prensa (ADP) in Chile, Danske Medier in Denmark, the Finnish Newspapers Association, the Hungarian Publishers Association, the Serikat Penerbit Suratkabar Pusat (SPS) in Indonesia, Mediebedriftenes Landsforening in Norway, NDP Nieuwsmedia in the Netherlands, SPQR, SPQN and ARPEJ in France, Associacão Nacional de Jornais in Brazil, Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger in Germany, Nihon Shinbun Kyokai in Japan, Andiarios in Colombia, (Journaux Francophone Belges), and the Korean Association of Newspapers. Details about all the centers can be found at

The induction took place at the 2016 News Publishing Expo in Vienna and was followed by the 2016 WAN-IFRA Youth Engagement and News Literacy Committee Briefing last week in Vienna, hosted and supported by the ZIS and the Austrian Newspaper Association. The professional focus of the Vienna meeting was the latest challenges related to digital news content and sharing best practises related to news in education, media literacy and a better understanding of media. For more on WAN-IFRA’s programmes for youth engagement and news literacy can be found at


WAN-IFRA based in Paris, and Frankfurt, with regional offices in Chennai, Singapore, and Mexico, is the global organisation of the world's newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 print and online publications and serves over 3,000 member companies in more than 120 countries. Its mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity, and help independent news publishing companies to succeed in their transformation process, increase their business, and perform their crucial role in open societies. WAN-IFRA offers its members a broad spectrum of specialised events, publications and research reports. It is also the worldwide platform for ideas, information and experience.. More about WAN-IFRA at

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