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“Have you seen our Corona coverage?” – Tom Buhrow justifies the broadcast fee

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Is it worth it for citizens to pay just under 20 euros in broadcasting fees every month? Sure, thinks ARD boss Tom Buhrow. The program is “very much appreciated, both quantitatively and qualitatively,” said Buhrow, referring to “The Show with the Mouse” – and the Corona reporting.

In an interview with the dpa news agency, Tom Buhrow, director of WDR and acting head of ARD after the resignation of Patricia Schlesinger, defended the obligatory broadcast fee – and referred to the high quality of the ARD programs, in his opinion. To the agency’s question:

“What would you say to someone on the street why it’s still worth paying 18.36 euros a month? How do you want to regain their trust?”

answered Buhrow:

“I would ask: Do you have children, do you have grandchildren, and have you ever watched ‘The Show with the Mouse’ with them? Do you watch the ‘Tagesschau’? Have you seen our Corona coverage? Which crime thriller are you watching? What is your favorite radio station, your favorite podcast? Most of the time – not always, but most of the time – it then becomes clear that what we offer people in terms of programming is very much appreciated, both in terms of quantity and quality.”

Against the background of the scandal surrounding the former RBB director and ARD boss Schlesinger, who is being investigated because of the initial suspicion of infidelity and accepting benefits, Buhrow called for reforms, such as better staffing of the supervisory bodies and the involvement of external experts. How much respect ARD has lost is, according to the former Tagesthemen moderator, “not yet foreseeable”. When asked how “mad” he was at Schlesinger, Buhrow stated:

“We are all disappointed in the ARD and also angry. Because all broadcasters have come under general suspicion and also thousands of employees who do a good job every day – including the RBB employees who now uphold the journalistic honor of the RBB.”

Critics have accused the public broadcasters of one-sided and uncritical reporting and paternalism in the Corona crisis and the Ukraine war, for example. According to a recent opinion poll A clear majority of Germans are now in favor of abolishing the fee, which has to be paid by all households regardless of the stations’ consumption.

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