Author Archives: Alison Langley

Chasing a lie from Switzerland to Sri Lanka

Olivia Ramya Tanner traveled to Sri Lanka to find her birth mother. Then the Swiss woman discovered that everything — from her birth certificate on up — was a lie. She’s not alone. Alison Langley reports from Zurich.

Republik set crowdfunding records. Then reality hit.

By Alison Langley January 28, 2019 View original story here Republik, a Swiss news startup, raised $2.4 million in less than two weeks in 2017, when a crowdfunding campaign that promised a new kind of journalism took off and set records.A year after its launch, its de facto publisher, Christof Moser, looks slightly more gaunt […]

Can She Help Restore Trust in the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Because the literature prize has been a stuffy boys club for too long.
This OZY series explores how institutions are battling declining trust — and what’s replacing them.

Can the EU Survive Without Swiss Chocolate?

Similar to the UK’s Brexit talks, Switzerland is locked in increasingly tense negotiations about its future.

Want to quell hate speech online? Talk to right-wing politicians

Populist politicians set the tone on European social media, while hate speech on Facebook and Twitter is less prevalent than you may think. We analyzed 40,000 comments, and that’s what we found.

Free and easy admissions leave Vienna’s universities swamped

Largely without tuition fees and open to all, institutions have seen their intakes soar

MBA project at Cern develops device to bring electricity to refugees

Students worked with scientists at particle physics facility to help displaced people

‘Ping-pong migrants’ play waiting game at Slovenia’s borders

As many EU countries introduce new rules governing who may cross their borders amid the massive influx of migrants, many people looking for safe refuge are in limbo at the frontiers. Alison Langley reports from Slovenia. See more…

So Long, Farewell

In the spring, when Syrian refugees began walking across the Hungarian border into Austria, they came in a steady stream of about 150 a day. The Austrian government responded by erecting Red Cross tents in the middle of fields at a time when the country was experiencing the coldest and rainiest season on record. The […]

Win-Win for Syrian Doctor and Austrian Town

Not long ago Rabee al Refai and his family were dodging bombs in Syria. Now they’re hopeful their kids will soon go to school and Dr. al Refai will return to the operating room in Austria, reports Alison Langley. See more…

New Islamic law sparks controversy in Austria

            This story first appeared on   The Austrian parliament is expected to pass on Wednesday a law that either strengthens – or weakens – the Islamic religion’s status, depending on whom you talk to. Alison Langley reports from Vienna. To the ruling coalition, the Islam Law could be […]

Austria suffering fallout from Russian sanctions

          This story first appeared on While the world waits to see whether the Ukraine ceasefire will hold, Austrian businesses look on with dismay at increasingly slim prospects that the economy will pick up this year, writes Alison Langley from Vienna. After years of enjoying fat profits with Austria’s central […]

The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger: putting fossil-fuel divestment on the agenda

  By Alison Langley AFTER ALAN RUSBRIDGER ANNOUNCED last December that he would step down as editor of The Guardian, he looked back on his 20 years at the helm of one of the UK’s best known papers and asked himself, “Do I have anything to regret?” One thing stood out: his paper hadn’t done […]

Hungary’s RTL faces tough taxes

    This article first appeared in The government takes on the investigative news channel By Alison Langley February 9, 2015 617 words Best known for reality shows like Jungle Camp and Big Brother, RTL, which bills itself as “Europe’s leading entertainment network,” has never been known for a quality news department in any […]

European Union journalists cross borders for story collaboration

    This article first appeared in Reporters are taking continent-wide investigations one step further By Alison Langley November 12, 2014 920 words When Brigitte Alfter was the European Union correspondent in Brussels for a Danish newspaper a decade ago, the stories she covered were only relevant to her Danish audience. Her sources came […]

A different take on Syria

    This article first appeared in Jihad Yazigi discusses why The Syria Report sticks to covering the economy By Alison Langley October 22, 2014 781 words In weekly dispatches, readers of The Syria Report have been tracking the implosion of the war-torn country by the numbers: The country will begin importing beef from […]

Meet Ukraine’s Media Moguls

    This article first appeared on Russia’s advance into Crimea has transformed Ukrainian television news coverage By Alison Langley Ukrainian media mogul Dmitry Firtash walked out of pre-trial detention in Vienna last week, where he was arrested on bribery and suspicion of forming a criminal organization after paying a record-breaking 125 million euros […]

Topless women endure in the UK press

    Women have been organizing against the tabloid mainstay, but some editors maintain that it’s a good way to sell papers October 14, 2013 By Alison Langley   UK author and actress Lucy Ann Holmes bought a copy of The Sun one day last August to read its sports page— the previous day, six British women […]

Go West – In the quest for digital-age prosperity, legacy newsrooms are making pilgrimages to Silicon Valley

This article first appeared the Columbia Journalism Review Magazine.   November 1, 2013 by Alison Langley In March 2012, the nation’s public broadcasters gathered in Austin, TX, for the annual meeting of the Integrated Media Association, a public-service broadcaster group dedicated to smoothing the transition to the digital age. At the front of the room, Jake […]

In Vienna’s Musikverein, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra earns high praise

November 5, 2012 By Alison Langley VIENNA, Austria — For every human, there is a point in life when an unexpected event changes everything. It can be happy or sad, but it means life will never be the same. That is the moment Austrian composer Herbert Willi aimed to capture in “Sacrosanto,” a violin concerto […]