IFJ Condemns Political Interference to Remove German TV Chief

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.

Committee

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.

"This

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".

Brender

has been editor in chief at the ZDF for nine years during which time he has

developed a reputation for stubborn independence. 

The ZDF

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.

"This

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