Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dragging State-Run TV to their Boss

German state-run TV (ARD and ZDF, along with a host of minor channels) have a boss that they actually have to report....the German Television Council.

Yesterday....the General Secretary (head chief) of the CSU Party (the Bavarian right-leaning party and sister-party of the CDU).....Andreas Scheuer.....came out in strong commentary saying that the screwed-up nature of reporting of ZDF over the Koln riot from the New Year's eve episode.....needs to be fully explained before the German Television Council.  The word 'repercussion' figured prominently in the brief speech.

If you bring up the Television Council.....most Germans will give you a blank stare.  They have no idea that the council exists, or of it's power or influence over state-run television affairs.

The council has the duty of leading ZDF, and controlling the budget (they are the final approval authority over the tax revenue bucket of money).

The council has seventy-seven members.  Yeah, as you can imagine....it makes the function of the council just about impossible.  Why so many members?  Well, it gets to a curious perception by the Bundestag.

There's one member appointed from each of the German states (sixteen total).

Three members come from the federal government level in Berlin.

Two members come from the German Protestant Church (appointed by the head Bishop of Germany, I would assume)

Two members come from the German Catholic Church (appointed by the head Cardinal of Germany, I would assume).

Twelve members come from the political parties of Germany.

One member comes from the Central Council of Jews.

Once this group sits down.....thirty-six total....they will vote for forty-one more members.  They can nominate anyone they desire, from any political persuasion or intellectual group.

Why such an cluttered contraption?  This has not really been explained in any forum, any publication, or discussed by any journalist.  The council has been around for a number of decades and regularly meets.  There's been a discussion over modifying the entire process....possibly downsizing the group.  So far, nothing changes on this method or conception.

Future changes?  Well....with three million Muslims within Germany.....they will likely reach a stage where two members will have to come from the Muslim community....although there is no national caucus and it'll freak out the various Muslim groups when they are told they need to find a national leadership organization to fill the two seats.

So, back to the CSU suggestion of ZDF having to explain itself to the council.  Scheuer is fairly blunt that the details given so far by the leadership over the delay of reporting the Koln riots.  If you live in Koln.....you had access to the local newspaper, and via social media......I'd say that the majority of residents in town knew by 2nd of January that some pretty crappy things had occurred on New Year's eve.

Even if ZDF does get called in to the council and the topic is forced upon them.....what exactly would expect the council of 77 individuals to do?  Punish ZDF?  How?  Fire the top guy and hire some insider to run the news operation?  In the end.....you just get more of the same.  I hate to sound negative about all of this....but you the viewer....are the only one who can control the situation.  If you turn off the state-run news and dump viewing them....that's about the only way to send a message.

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