Because of the transmission of Queen’s funeral: Christian Lindner criticizes ARD and ZDF

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) criticizes the double transmission of the Queen’s funeral in England. Image: IMAGO / Metodi Popov

09/20/2022, 17:1509/20/2022, 17:35

Navid Moshgbar

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) already emphasized on Monday that there was “considerable savings potential” in public broadcasting. The salary of some station bosses is too high, he tweeted. Among other things, he called for a salary cap for the directors of public broadcasting: The salary should at least not be higher than the Chancellor’s earnings. Now Lindner follows suit.

Double structures in the program are obviously a thorn in the side of the finance minister. The reason: On Monday, the broadcasters ARD and ZDF both broadcast Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Lindner now criticizes this in an interview with the “New Osnabrück newspaper”.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast on ARD and ZDF.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast on ARD and ZDF.Image: IMAGO / MiS

The problem: Both broadcasters provided staff and equipment for the event of the century and had reporters on site. The two broadcasters thus produced very similar program content, a circumstance that ZDF combined in one statement justified by the great importance of the event.

When it comes to finances, Lindner apparently finds this to be anything but ideal. The “NOZ” continues to quote him:

“I’m sure that large sums of money can be saved through cooperation without this having a negative impact on the program.”

In order to do justice to the core task, both broadcasters would have to cooperate better with each other. Lindner does not say what is part of the core mission. However, the general mandate of the public broadcasters is laid down in the Broadcasting Acts and the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty.

Lindner proposes a cap on fees

According to this, the broadcasters should, through the selection of programs and topics, freedom of opinion and cultural diversity guarantee. With their program offers, they should also offer viewers education, information, advice and entertainment. What goes with it and what doesn’t is always part of the debate about public service broadcasting.

Since the financial burden on citizens has increased, the broadcasting fee is to be capped. At least when it comes to the opinion of Christian Lindner.

Broadcasting fee was increased, Saxony-Anhalt fought back

The tax was last raised in August 2021 from EUR 17.50 to EUR 18.36 per household. The prime ministers of the federal states had already agreed on the increase in 2020.

However, the parliament of Saxony-Anhalt did not approve the draft law. The state CDU had opposed their prime minister, triggering a government crisis in the state.

The premium increase was blocked as a result. That delayed the increase but didn’t stop it. The broadcasters then complained to the Federal Constitutional Court inserted in Karlsruhe. In August 2021, the court agreed with the broadcasters.

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