The International Federation of Journalists, (IFJ)
and its regional organization, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), condemned
today's decision to remove Nikolaus Brender, Editor-in-Chief of the Zweites
Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF). The decision not to extend his contract was taken by
the Administrative Council, against the recommendation of the broadcaster's
director-general, Markus Schächter.
members aligned with the Christian Democratic Party, and representing a
majority on the Administrative Committee, have made clear their intention to
block the renewal of his contract for some months.
is a shocking act of political meddling in media freedom," said Aidan White,
IFJ General Secretary. "Public Service Broadcasters must be independent from
all forms of political control. This incident is an affront to the principles
of public broadcasting and will ultimately damage its reputation for
independent news coverage".
has been editor in chief at the ZDF for nine years during which time he has
developed a reputation for stubborn independence.
section of Verdi, an affiliate of the IFJ, has accused Roland Koch, Prime Minister of the German State
of Hesse (CDU), and member of the Administrative Council, of being behind the plot.
decision was a brutal demonstration of political power against media", said Verdi.
"This was not just a case of removing Brender, but an attempt to gain control
over the programming of a leading media".
For more information
contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide