public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF),
which was recently forced into a humiliating apology
for their silence on migrant violence and
sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their
former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the
government on what it reports. He said journalists received
instructions to write news that would be “to Ms. Merkel’s
head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during
a radio event
(from minute 27) in Berlin where journalists discussed the media
landscape. Moving on to the freedom of the press, the panel chair
asked Dr. Herles whether things in Germany had got “seriously out
of whack”. With an honesty perhaps unusual in Germany, Dr.
Herles replied that ordinary Germans were totally losing faith in the
media, something he called a “scandal”. He said:
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”.
than the mainstream, government controlled and poll-tax funded media
in Germany just agreeing with the ruling coalition, the stations
actually took orders on what was and was not to be reported on. He
topics about which are reported are laid down by the government.
are many topics that would be more important than what the government
wants. But they, of course, want to deflect attention away from
what doesn’t happen. Yet what doesn’t happen is often more
important than what does happen – more important than
these orders are sent to media companies from unspecified places in
the government, they are communicated to individual journalists by
news executives using a new-speak jargon. Dr. Herles explains that
while “there are, in fact, instructions from above”, when the
editor in chief of ZDF communicated these instructions to his juniors
he would merely say reporting should be framed in a way that “serves
Europe and the public good”.
would be no need to add in brackets that this actually means it
should be reported “to Ms. Merkel’s liking”, as they would be
understood as the true meaning.
one is not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees”
said Dr. Herles, concluding: “This is government journalism and
that leads to a situation in which people no longer trust us. This is
has been very little reporting of the comments in the German media,
and what there was has been critical of the
comments of one centre-left media figure, Der
editor Jakob Augstein who when asked whether there had ever been such
“instructions from above”, said: “No, I deny vehemently there
has ever been commands from the top”.
the German mainstream media is not free and routinely obscures or
bends the truth has been a key criticism by the Patriotic Europeans
Against the Islamisation of Europe (PEGIDA) movement, which has
coined phrases like Lügenpresse — the liar press — to
express their frustration.
media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure - German journalist
journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the
works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that
noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the
revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.