Criticism of Ukraine project: “Katapult” boss resigns

The founder and editor-in-chief of the Greifswald “Katapult” magazine, Benjamin Fredrich, is retiring. In a personal letter published on the magazine’s website, it is said that he will resign from his posts. “My behavior within the Ukraine project has been severely criticized. Some is justified, some is not.” He resigns “to carry out what I have announced”.

According to its own statements, “Katapult” hired Ukrainian journalists shortly after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022 and also wanted to set up its own editorial offices in the country. Former employees from the Ukraine had now raised allegations against the head of the Greifswalder Magazin, which the online magazine “Übermedien” had initially reported on Monday. It was about outstanding salaries, lack of interest in the project and poor communication, wrote “Übermedien”.

According to “Übermedien”, Fredrich has promised to hire Ukrainian media workers at a fixed salary of 1,650 euros per month. According to “Übermedien”, the two employees who accepted the offer now accuse Fredrich of having lost interest in the project.

The project was supported with donations

In addition, he wanted to change employment contracts to a fee basis and accused the Odessa office of “major problems with corruption,” it said. Several salary and fee payments are pending. According to its own statements, “Katapult” had received donations from supporters for the project.

Fredrich writes that it bothers him that he has failed to meet basic expectations and that he has communicated poorly. “I’m sorry that I didn’t pursue the project with the consistent perseverance I announced: I’m sorry for that too.” His resignation has a specific goal: “I want to concentrate on the project that is particularly important to me – catapult Ukraine .” According to Fredrich, “Katapult” will be headed by a dual female leadership with immediate effect. The appointment of the editor-in-chief is still pending.

“Katapult” is a popular science magazine that almost exclusively uses infographics and maps for illustration purposes. It is funded through the sale of a quarterly printed edition, license sales of graphics, advertising revenue and donations. The publisher also sells books, posters and card games. 34-year-old Fredrich founded the publishing house in Greifswald in 2015. (epd/tsp)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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