Christoph Varga awarded Horst Knapp Prize 2014

The Head of the Economic Department of the ORF newscast "ZiB" was awarded the prestigious Horst Knapp Prize on Wednesday evening. The eulogy was given by Governor of the Austrian central bank, Ewald Nowotny, in his capacity as chairman of the independent jury. The keynote speaker at the award ceremony in the Bank Austria Kunstforum was German economic researcher Bert Rürup.

Awarding the prize for extraordinary achievements in Austrian economic journalism, Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria said: "Despite the short time available – particularly on TV – Christoph Varga always succeeds in conveying economic topics competently, comprehensibly, calmly and objectively, in the best sense of public television. I consider him one of the most accomplished economic journalists in the country."

"In the spirit of Horst Knapp, this year's winner, Christoph Varga knows how to explain even very complex relations to viewers in a comprehensible language – topics such as 'bank stress tests' or 'quantitative easing measures' by the European Central Bank", underlined Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian central bank, praising the winner.

In the following speech, German economic researcher and president of the Handelsblatt Research Institute Bert Rürup shared his thoughts with the guests on the topic of "solid state finances: preconditions for sustainable growth".

Christoph Varga (46) grew up in Vienna, where he studied Geography and Economics as well as History and Social Studies to become a teacher, along with Organisational Development and Group Dynamics in Klagenfurt. He has worked at ORF since 1988, first as a freelancer at Radio Wien, later as a newsreader, and then editor as well as head of radio news and journals before heading abroad in 1999. In 2000/2001 Christoph Varga reported as ORF's correspondent from Berlin. In 2002 he returned to the ORF Economic Department, where he worked as deputy head from 2007. Since August 2009 he has headed up the Economic Department of the ORF newscast "ZiB".

The Horst Knapp Prize has been sponsored annually by Bank Austria since 1996
The Horst Knapp Prize recognises outstanding Austrian economic journalistic achievements that present complex economic and social policy issues in a particularly clear and comprehensible manner. It is awarded to journalists by an independent jury in memory of the long-standing doyen of Austrian economic journalism, Professor Horst Knapp, who passed away in 1996. The prize is awarded along with EUR 6,000.

The jury is headed up by Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian central bank. Alongside the chairman, the jury comprises the following members: Karl Aiginger, head of the Austrian Institute for Economic Research; Margarete Freisinger, freelance journalist; Martin Halama, corporate spokesman for Bank Austria; Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business; Andrea Helige, PR consultant; Veit Sorger, former president of the Federation of Austrian Industries; Josef Zechner, professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and – as the winner of last year's prize – Hanna Kordik, joint head of the Economic department at DIE PRESSE daily newspaper.

The following journalists have previously been awarded the Horst Knapp Prize: Reinhard Göweil and Waltraud Langer (1996), Georg Wailand (1997) and Regina Forster (sponsorship award 1997), Michael Hann (1998), Liselotte Palme (1999), Andreas Schnauder (2000), Walter Sonnleitner (2001), Margarete Freisinger (2002), Richard Wiens (2003), Christine Domforth (2004), Michael Csoklich and Eva Pfisterer (2005), Renate Graber (2006), Helmut Gansterer (2007), Michael Nikbakhsh (2008), Luise Ungerboeck and Franz Schellhorn (2009), Michael Bachner (2010), Dietmar Mascher (2011), Volker Obermayr (2012) and Hanna Kordik (2013).

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505-52809
E-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

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