The retired head of the German public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) has claimed his former network and others are told what to report on by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
His admission follows a humiliating episode for the broadcasting institution, which has had to issue an apology for reportedly ignoring hundreds of sex attacks committed by migrants during Cologne’s New Year celebrations.
Speaking during a recent radio event in Berlin where journalists talked about the German media landscape and the freedom of the press, Dr. Wolfgang Herles said reporters are instructed to compile news reports that are to “Ms. Merkel’s liking”, Breitbart London reports.
“We have the problem that—now I’m mainly talking about the public [state] media—we have a closeness to the government. Not only because commentary is mainly in line with the grand coalition (CSU, CDU, and SPD), with the spectrum of opinion, but also because we are completely taken in by the agenda laid down by the political class,” he said.
“[…] The topics about which are reported are laid down by the government.”
It is alleged that the orders on what—and what not—to cover are sent to media outlets from unspecified places in the government. These instructions are then passed on to individual journalists by news bosses—reporters are reportedly told to frame stories in a way that “serves Europe and the public good”.
Asked if the German media class had “got out of whack”, Dr. Herles replied: “Today, one is not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees […] This is government journalism and that leads to a situation in which people no longer trust us. This is a scandal.”
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