Archive for February 16th, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Voice of Germany turns from German to Foreign Listeners

Traditionally, the Voice of Germany has, above all, seen itself as a source of information for Germans living abroad. Erik Bettermann, its director, says that this is going to change: “The Voice of Germany wants to reach people who influence opinion making and democratic processes.” Just by speaking German, this goal would not be reached, said Bettermann. He refers to foreign radio and television broadcasters such as BBC World, Al-Dschasira [Oumph. Should have been Al-Jazeera.] oder France 24 and points out that the BBC has a budget of six million Euros [update: 24 mn Euros], while the Voice of Germany has to work with only six million Euros.

Germany’s international broadcaster would only be successful in competing with its global competitors if provided with the necessary financial means. Quality journalism was needed, as the debate about the Chinese department had shown, Bettermann said, according to the Kölner Stadtanzeiger. This required internal debate, too, but this in turn required sufficient human resources.

Voice of Germany will boost its television programs in English and Spanish, while a German program will be broadcast on a second channel. Audio programs will be increased online, with live stream and audio on demand. Listening and watching habits had changed, said Bettermann.

By the end of this year, the station will have decided on its future course to steer. The current total budget is 275 million Euros – the station is funded by the federal government. For 2013, Bettermann expects a need of additional 78 million Euros.

The Voice already played an important role in the promotion of democracy, said Bettermann. With its Global Media Forum, scheduled in Bonn in June this year, the broadcaster offered a platform for the global media community.

Unharmonious Days at the Voice of Germany’s Chinese Service »
Chinese Department in Translation »
Will CCTV and Xinhua shape China’s Global Image? »

Monday, February 16, 2009

Knife Attack on Blogger

Zeng Jinyan wrote yesterday that blogger and writer Xu Lai (徐来) was attacked with a knife (or knives) on Valentine’s Day. She also heard that his condition was stable.

According to Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao (Morning News), Mr Xu was attacked by two unknown men during a public discussion in a bookshop in Beijing, Danxiang Jie Book Store on Wan Da Square (单向街书店万达广场). Morning News also reported that Mr Xu’s condition is not life-dangerous. The attack was apparently carried out by people who disliked what he wrote.

His blog – 钱烈宪要发言 or ProState in Flames – is here. It won the Voice of Germany’s “Best Blog” prize in 2005, according to Morning News.

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