Ulla Kramar-Schmid, a member of the ORF ZiB 2 editorial team, was awarded with the famed Prof. Horst Knapp Prize. The laudatory speech was given by the Chairman of the Jury, National Bank Governor, Ewald Nowotny. The keynote speaker for the ceremonial presentation in the Vienna Kunstforum was the lawyer, author and data protection activist Max Schrems.
Gregor Hofstätter-Pobst, CFO of UniCredit Bank Austria, declared, upon the presentation of the prize for outstanding achievements in Austrian economic journalism: "A qualitative and, in particular, high-quality journalistic television programme is essential for public discourse about politically and socially relevant issues in our country. Particularly in view of the trend that has seen ever more people principally inform themselves via social media channels. Three years ago the ORF and ZiB 2 editorial team managed to gain one of the most experienced investigative journalists in the country: Ulla Kramar-Schmid. She has not just made her name with domestic political issues, but also via her profound economic expertise. This is essential for first-class journalistic analysis and categorisation, particularly as so many political and economic topics are very closely intertwined. Ulla Kramar-Schmid has, among other things, concerned herself intensively with the serious economic scandals of the past few years, such as the Hypo Alpe Adria and Hypo committee of inquiry, as well as researching and presenting to the public countless fact checks on economic, financial and tax questions for ZiB 2."
The Chairman of the Jury, Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian National Bank, emphasised in his laudatory speech that: "The jury unanimously decided upon Ulla Kramar-Schmid because, in her journalistic work, she perfectly embodies the values of the prize we are granting today. In the spirit of Horst Knapp, it's about facts and their correct categorisation. Ms Kramar-Schmid significantly fulfils this ideal and is therefore a very worthy prizewinner."
The keynote was given by Max Schrems, lawyer and author as well as founder and CEO of the new European data protection NGO noyb ("none of your business"). Under the title, "The new European data protection: an economic drag or boost?" he elaborated his idea according to which the new General Data Protection Regulation, directly applicable across the EU from 25 May, will provide a lasting competitive edge, even if the law requires revision in terms of legal security and clarity.
The prizewinner, Ulla Kramar-Schmid, has been a member of the editorial team for the ORF Zeit im Bild 2 since July 2015. From 1998 to 2015 she was active as an editor at the news magazine for the areas of domestic policy, economics, and investigative journalism, having already gained journalistic experience at the Kurier, AZ and NÖN.
Since 1996 UniCredit Bank Austria has sponsored the Prof. Horst Knapp Prize
The Horst Knapp Prize awards outstanding performance in Austrian economic journalism which presents complex economic and socio-political connections in a particularly clear and comprehensible manner. An independent jury awards the prize, sponsored by UniCredit Bank Austria, in memory of Prof. Horst Knapp, the doyen of Austrian economic journalism who died in 1996. The prize is endowed with 7,000 euros.
The Chairman of the Jury is Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian National Bank. The following members also belong to the jury: Karl Aiginger, Director of the Policy Crossover Center: Vienna – Europe; Margarete Freisinger, freelance journalist; Martin Halama, Director of Business Communication for UniCredit Bank Austria; Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, Rector of Vienna University of Economics and Business; Andrea Helige, PR consultant; Veit Sorger, Chairman of the Board for MONDI AG; Josef Zechner, Professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business; and last year's prizewinners, Regina Forster and Thomas Karabaczek, Deputy Heads of Department for Economics in the Austria Press Agency.