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Employee of FHWien der WKW honoured with Prälat-Leopold-Ungar journalism award

November 22, 2021

Johanna Hirzberger receives a recognition award for her audio picture “Darf’s ein bisserl weniger sein? Women system keepers: A lot of work, little pay”. The radio report deals with the sometimes adverse working conditions of women in system-relevant professions, which has already been nominated for the Prix Europa in the category “Radio Documentary”.

Drei Preisträger:innen bei der Preisverleihung des Leopold-Ungar-Preises 2021.
Johanna Hirzberger bei der Auszeichnung mit dem Leopold-Ungar-Anerkennungspreis. © Johanna Hirzberger

Women in system-relevant professions: lots of applause – little pay

Johanna Hirzberger spent a year accompanying seven women from Eastern Europe who work in Austria in fields as diverse as nursing, sales or cleaning, in kindergartens or warehouses. The women belong to the so-called system keepers. A year ago they were applauded just to be forgotten again in their daily work routine. Marked by hard work, multiple burdens, dependence and precarious existence. For her radio feature „Darf’s ein bisserl weniger sein? Systemerhalterinnen: Viel Arbeit, wenig Lohn“ she has now been awarded the Prelate Leopold Ungar Recognition Prize.

She gives women a voice that is otherwise never heard. She makes it clear what is demanded of them, what they achieve and how little they are paid.

The radio feature has no additional commentary at all and consists exclusively of original recordings with sparse musical accents. This design gives previously unheard women, who otherwise would not be able to make themselves heard, a voice for their concerns. The jury thus awards a social reportage in the best sense of the word.


Journalist award for tolerance and understanding in dealing with marginalised groups in society

The prize, which is awarded by Caritas of the Archdiocese of Vienna and Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien in the spirit of the life’s work of Prelate Leopold Ungar, is the highest endowed journalism prize in Austria with a total of 20,000 euros. The prize is awarded for outstanding journalistic achievements that promote tolerance and understanding in dealing with social minorities and deal with socio-political topics such as poverty, homelessness, migration, flight, old age, illness or discrimination.


Feminist radio, features, music and city life

Johanna Hirzberger graduated from the Master’s programme in Journalism & New Media at FHWien der WKW and joined the editorial team of Radio Radieschen, FHWien der WKW’s own educational radio station, as editor and presenter in March 2021. She is responsible for creating the series “Perspektiven” (feature format), “#Vienna” (city magazine), “Frisch Gemischt” (music programme) and the feminist radio magazine “Femality”, which she founded during her studies. She also works as a freelance editor at Ö1 in the areas of science and features for the radio series “Hörbilder”, “Radiodoktor”, “Digital.Leben” and “Matrix”.