DW: JR’s Searchword Service

Are THEY the secret plotters against free speech at Deutsche Welle?

Are THEY the secret plotters against free speech at Deutsche Welle?

[Deutsche Welle] hired a disputed Sinologist based in Germany, whose job is to sniff out all reports with even the slightest hint of friendliness toward China.

After two and a half years on his throne of censorship he has amassed venomous remarks on not only China-friendly reports but also the editors working at the China-Redaktion der Deutsche Welle and he even clamors for recognizing Taiwan as an “independent country”.

The name of the man People’s Daily‘s English Edition apparently doesn’t wish to name would be Jörg-Meinhard Rudolph. His name is mentioned in the open letter to German Federal Parliament, and the Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) broadcasting commission, written by four Deutsche Welle staff members whose contracts had reportedly not been renewed.

According to the open letter, Rudolph’s work and the standards allegedly applied would be secret, or secretive. The letter goes far more into detail than the People’s Daily article, which quotes four paragraphs of  it.

As to why the letter’s authors haven’t taken to court yet (where the described practise, if existing, would most probably be declared illegal), or to one of the trade unions in charge of journalists’ interests (such as ver.di) is a matter which hasn’t been addressed in the open letter (inasfar as it is available online).

The Neue Rheinische Zeitung (NRhZ) published the open letter on April 1 this year (see bottom of article there). I’m not aware of reactions from the Bundestag or the broadcasting commission.

____________

Related
» Discussion about Deutsche Welle Chinese dept (comments to a post with an originally different topic),
» Deutsche Welle reshuffles, April 1, 2011
» Unharmonious Days, November 14, 2008

10 Responses to “DW: JR’s Searchword Service”

  1. Wait, have these people been condemned to being Berufsverbot?

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  2. No, not at all. I guess it’s a case of projection. The Chinese article I’ve (partly) translated or rendered a few minutes ago has a rapidly-rising number of comments, mostly venting their anger at my country – I guess (won’t check them tonight). I’m no psychologist, but I guess they project a lot of home-grown anger here, because the way the Chinese media describe the Deutsche-Welle disputes looks so familiar to them. 😉

    You are in Prague, and still reading my blog? I’m flattered. Or maybe Prague isn’t what it used to be.

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  3. PS – JT, I think you can see that I’ve been reading up on German history (actually just Timothy Garton-Ash’s excellent The File) and am now trying to show off!

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  4. Also, sorry to say that I’m back in Wroclaw (actually not so bad, but drinking the beer here gives me such bad hangovers that I can only do it once-twice a week).

    As I said, Prague was awesome.

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  5. Now that you mention that you are a Germany expert… did Willy Brandt or Helmut Schmidt invent the Berufsverbot? I’m trying to get to a stage where this blog will save me a lot of Google searches.

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  6. There, done it:

    “In 1972, Chancellor Willi Brandt introduced the Berufsverbot, a decree which prohibits from state employment any person who engages in political acts considered detrimental to the Constitution, the ostensible aim being to prevent National Socialists and communists from infiltrating the state bureaucracy. Because university teachers in Germany are officially employees of the state, the Berufsverbot led to the dismissal of a number of academics who had engaged in unorthodox political activities which, while not actually illegal, were nevertheless interpreted as detrimental to the Constitution under that law. It moreover strengthened the habit among academics of strenuously avoiding researches which might raise political eyebrows.”

    Source, here:

    http://www.vho.org/aaargh/engl/coercion.html

    Now I’m off to start a bridge-blog on Germany. I will avoid all possible bias when discussing the country, my goal is to promote dialogue and remove barriers of misunderstanding.

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  7. It’s Willy Brandt, Germany expert. This is what he said in his inaugural speech: “We stand not at the end of our democracy, but at its beginning.” (1969)

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