CDU leader Friedrich Merz: "ARD and ZDF now have one of the last chances to initiate changes"
Photo: SASCHA STEINBACH / EPA
In view of the affair surrounding the resigned RBB director Patricia Schlesinger, CDU boss Friedrich Merz has called on public broadcasting to undertake reforms.
In a guest article for the "Badische Latest News", the leader of the opposition called on the broadcasters to concentrate on their information mission again, while at the same time questioning the coexistence of ARD and ZDF.
The strengths of public service broadcasting are documentaries and series that cannot be found in private broadcasting.
»But you don't need two competing television stations to be represented at all events at the same time.
The fee payers can at least demand closer cooperation between ARD and ZDF, especially for expensive sporting events.«
ARD and ZDF now have perhaps one of the last opportunities to show that they are able to correct mistakes on their own and initiate changes.
"The Schlesinger affair has the potential to finally deprive public service broadcasting in Germany of its legitimacy and public acceptance," writes Merz.
The CDU boss also demanded a complete investigation into the Schlesinger affair and a review of the supervisory authorities.
The broadcasters would have to show transparency and disclose the salaries of those responsible as well as the payment flows to the numerous production companies.
»This also and especially applies to the moderators of the well-known talk shows and entertainment programmes.«
Merz also called for balance in reporting.
This includes a clear separation between message and comment.
"More journalistic responsibility and less political sentiment is needed here." He rejects gendering in the programs: "Neither individual speakers nor commentators and moderators have the right to deviate from the generally recognized rules of use of the German language."