It is not new that press freedom is not far away in Germany. However, the fact that even mainstream media like “Nordkurier” now have to justify themselves publicly if they dare to report more critically is something to think about. The medium informed its readers about the events that took place at the Corona Investigative Committee in Potsdam (so far the only one of its kind), which apparently caused maximum outrage in the state parliament: its press office immediately complained. The editor-in-chief of Nordkurier disclosed the correspondence.
The Corona-U committee in Brandenburg is so far unique in Germany and is naturally of particular interest to those who did not follow the strict corona policy of the federal government. This is probably why the German mainstream rarely reports on the committee. “NordCourier” is an exemplary exception: a reporter from the medium, Philippe Debion, visits meetings and provides important information about incidents and abnormalities in surveys.
During this, he also told that on October 18, important questions are repeatedly rejected by the committee chairman. He devoted an article to this fact and spoke of the “question ban” in this context. This is by no means a subjective assessment of any one reporter: others present also sharply criticized the continued rejection of questions related to processing. For example, the Epoch Times reported on October 14 about the inquiry into the PEI representative:
But even where Keller-Stanislavski wanted to make a statement, the committee chairman stopped him. “You don’t need to make any statement about it,” he explained to them several times. At times he, who said he was “briefed” before being interrogated (without saying by whom), had to literally assert himself against Eichelbaum in order to be able to answer.
With regard to the general approach of the Committee Chairman, “Nordkurier” also took a closer look at the role of the Committee Chairman: “For many questions that were classified as unacceptable, the Committee Chairman was informed shortly before What was received was not worth listening to. The rest of the committee.” The same woman, reports Debyon. Below he briefly discusses his educational background and In this context, among other things, points out that he liked the announcement of the BioNTech company on social networks and apparently he has connections to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the working group of Christian Drosten, a popular corona “expert”. This will undoubtedly be relevant information to assess your contribution to the U-Committee.
Complaint to State Parliament
But all this apparently goes too far for the Brandenburg state parliament: Its press office sent a complaint to the Nordkurier editorial team. This implies that Debyon was not actually present at the meetings because he was not registered. People are extremely angry at the term “question ban”:
The Brandenburg Investigative Committee Act, which is to be enacted and enforced by the chairmen of all investigative committees in the state parliament, clearly provides for the questioning of witnesses. There can be no question of the so-called “ban on questions”. The State Parliament objects to this representation and asks your editorial team to correct it as per the Press Code (point 3).
It was also considered highly inappropriate to discuss the background of the speaker in question and it was claimed that reporting by name was not only without any journalistic value, but also “irresponsible”. Furthermore, citations from documents that were not intended for publication are condemned.
The editor-in-chief of the Nordkurier publicly defies and reprimands the state parliament
Gabriel Cordes, editor-in-chief of “NordKurier” today publicly refuted the letter and devoted an article to it titled “Investigative Committee – State Parliament angered by NordKurier reports”. Both the complaint letter and Codes’ response letter are published there – “for reasons of maximum transparency,” as they emphasize. Cordes begins his letter by saying he is “equally shocked” by the nature and content of the complaint: ,Since reading this, I have basic questions about your understanding of the office and your understanding of freedom of the press“, Ankit is one.
He then said that reporters were present at the Debyon meetings because they were public and anyone could attend them. He explicitly rejected the reform of the “ban on questions”:
There is no doubt in my mind that the rules and procedures you refer to can certainly be included under the phrase “question ban”. The fact that you clearly dislike this subsumption does not mean that we are not allowed to do it this way.
Cordes also sees no problem with naming the speaker:
I want to clarify your statements that neither you personally nor the State Parliament administration gets to decide what is in the public interest – but as far as our publications are concerned, we make that decision Take for yourself, within our framework constitutional freedoms. I think your statements in this context are absurd; In any case, they will not force us to reconsider our reporting on this point.
Furthermore, reporting on confidential documents is also “one of the core functions of a free press” and is subject to the special protection of the Basic Law. Cordes says: “In this regard, I am really shocked by your question; Answering is prohibited.”
Revealing insights into the politics of press freedom
The German population would also have been surprised when they read the letter of complaint from the state parliament press office. There are still those who believe that mainstream journalism in Germany reports independently and uninfluenced. The extent of conformism in recent years has made it clear what power politicians wield here: Criticism of the Corona course was generally in vain – instead, the press, which is otherwise fond of moral finger-waving, Supported the criminalization of critics and discrimination against those who do not get vaccinated.
The fact that the “Nordkurier” is exposing this current attempt to exert influence is exemplary – but the question is how many interventions in freedom of the press have already been accepted and approved in the German media apparatus (especially when financial gain Had happened).
(TagstoTranslate)Brandenburg(T)Impact(T)Freedom of the Press(T)U Committee