Thursday, June 14, 2018

When is the public "f*****ed"? When the owner of German tabloid Bild & intellectualoid Welt call new public broadcasting agreement an 'everybody wins' deal

Regarding funding, Germany's public broadcasters have an easy life - they get about 20 dollars per household as a mandatory fee. On top of that, every business has to pay in accordance with the number of employees. Nothing says watching television or listening to the radio at work like the many environments where hearing protection is needed or where enjoying moving or still images will get you fired on the spot, even in a place where the laws require some form of cause for layoffs.

Germany's public broadcasters currently take in around 8 billion Euros a year in fees and hundreds of millions more in ad revenue and revenue from other services.

And they have web sites.


It's a big deal because the sites come with their own 'media libraries'. The proper sounding name hides the fact that the stations are allowed under current agreements to only keep archived broadcasts available for seven days on the website after the first airing the radio or TV episode.

This hard limit will soon go away.

That's the win for the broadcasters if you will.

The win for the traditional print media, represented in the blog title and the press comments on the agreement by none other than the chief of the company that owns one of the country's truly awful tabloids is this:

Internet presence of German public broadcasters to focus on moving image and audio.

Criticism by the powerful, largely 'conservative' media industry group representing the paper based sector against the public broadcasters has recently targeted the broadcaster's use of the written word on their websites.

Writing something that vaguely resembles an article is decried as unfair competition and will now be officially banned. What this means is a loss of accessibility because the provision can easily be read as prohibiting full text publication of interviews and commentary.

The egregious bit is that no such prohibition exists for forays of the paper folks into audio and video. Not only does DER SPIEGEL, for example, boast a TV like site called spiegeltv but the Axel Springer group of incendiary tabloid BILD fame owns real TV station N-TV and proudly features its content on 'print' sites, such as Welt.

In short, the German public is, well, read the blog title again. 

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