Austrian Times is an Austrian daily English-language newspaper available online or as a downloadable PDF or newsletter that was founded in 2005. It was created to fill a gap in English-language news in Austria after the closure of the English language Austrian radio station Blue Danube Radio and the daily English language news service published by the Wiener Zeitung, the world's oldest still in publication newspaper. Although it is the only daily English news service in Austria and has a considerable readership with over 350,000 unique visitors a month, the project is not a commercial success with very little income to offset the costs of maintaining the paper's online newsroom. Despite that, it continues to be run as a community service for its readers and offers coverage of politics, business, sports, culture, travel, and general Austria-related news and weather from its office in Vienna.
In October 2009 the newspaper carried a report on a missing Austrian girl believed to have been smuggled to Romania, and the story was repeated in the newspaper's sister paper the Romanian Times. The Austrian editorial team were then contacted by a man in Brazil who claimed the girl lived next door. The man who gave his name as Mr Olivera complained that although he had spoken to the police in Austria he believed his suspicion was not taken seriously. He said he only spoke English which was why he had found the girl on the English language pages of the Austrian Times - and had not been able to speak to police in German to convince them to take him seriously. The paper's then editor - Michael Leidig - spoke to Mr Olivera and was convinced by his tale - and in order to make sure it was given priority arranged for the crime correspondent and chief reporter of the daily newspaper Oesterreich - Wolfgang Höllriegel - to pass on the info to the police. As a result of the tip off and the email correspondence a police team were sent to Brazil and confirmed the allegations - and the girl was recovered and returned home.
The paper is run by a group of journalists who offer their time for free and who are unpaid. It also has a close relationship with the news agency Central European News Ltd that provides editorial material for free. CEN Ltd runs a news wire service that sells editorial content with a fee charged only for what is published. In April 2010 the agency gave the Austrian Times a story and pictures for free that it had also made available to the charity Journalism Without Borders about a Chinese girl left looking like a character from the film Avatar thanks to a rare medical condition. The newspaper's story that the agency had failed to find a single publisher for quickly went viral thanks to social networking sites and generated several million hits on hundreds of web sites - raising enough money for treatment of the girl.