Deficit and crisis at the foreign broadcaster: make waves now!

Deutsche Welle in a tizzy? Is something like that even imaginable? Compared to the affairs and affairs on ARD and ZDF, the foreign broadcaster works largely unnoticed. The wave only showed signs of behavior in 2021, when it became clear that employees of the Arabic editorial team had made openly anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli statements. External investigations quickly followed, and five employees had to go.

It’s about money and the future

What the employees, the director Peter Limbourg and the Broadcasting Council are now concerned about is much more serious. It’s about money, a lot of money and thus about the future of the employees and the program mandate. In order to escape an impending deficit, the budget is cut. Five percent is the minus, at the top of the savings measures are the end of the German TV channel and the reduction of 100 jobs.

As Director Limbourg communicates, the deficit was not foreseeable, but was caused by the diverse efforts in the context of the Ukraine war. Although the budget is at a record level of 406 million euros in 2023, what the responsible representative for culture and media, Claudia Roth, says is not enough. The foreign broadcaster is no longer Deutsche Welle, but a worldwide and increasingly digital platform that maintains free reporting that is accessible to as many people as possible, especially where media freedom is mercilessly restricted – Russia, for example. Freedom costs and more than Deutsche Welle’s budget.

The wave reacts, the renunciation of the German TV channel is acceptable, but must the workforce be poached so brutally? In their own spending behavior (business trips!), the top broadcasters, supported by a faithful broadcasting council, appear as if they were preaching water to the employees and pouring themselves wine.

Joachim Huber is following with some concern how Deutsche Welle is handling its program mandate and employees.

There are two in demand: Director Limbourg, who has to protect the station from deficits and internal crises, and on the other Claudia Roth. The Minister of State for Culture must take a close look at her figures and check again whether there are millions more for the wave. The State Department can search right away. Anyone who supplies howitzers and tanks must also supply sustainable information.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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