An internal audit team set up by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) found no evidence of politically motivated influence on the work in the Kiel state broadcasting station. Rather, the examination identified an “editorial climate” as a major problem, which was “characterized in part by a lack of communication and a lack of trust”, the NDR announced on Tuesday in Hamburg. Journalistic principles were not violated.
Some of the allegations made in media publications, among other things, have even proven to be "unfounded", explained NDR director Joachim Knuth. Thomas Berbner, one of the examiners employed by the NDR from other editorial offices, said that there had been "individual decisions" that were also seen "critically" afterwards. But even a “large majority” of the Kieler Landesfunkhaus editorial team “can’t do anything” with the concept of a political filter.
Most recently, reports of an alleged influence on political reporting in the state radio station responsible for Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel caused a stir. Among other things, it was about the allegation that radio station managers had influenced research into so-called deportation children of the Red Cross and a canceled interview with the former Minister of the Interior Hans-Joachim Grote around two years ago.
The internal review by a team of journalists from NDR is only part of the processing of the case. The state broadcasting council responsible for the Schleswig-Holstein NDR also commissioned an external investigation.
According to its own statements, the NDR test team has had more than 60 personal discussions with those involved in the past few weeks, as well as telephone surveys and video switching. Six written comments were also evaluated. The "essential problem" is a "disturbed editorial climate" in parts of the state radio station, examiner Carsten Löding summarized the result.
Numerous employees of the NDR in Kiel had recently stated in a letter that a trusting cooperation with part of the previous management team was no longer conceivable for them. Amidst all the unsolved allegations, the management also said that they are considering taking stock of corporate culture across the channel. Director General Joachim Knuth said at the Broadcasting Council meeting in Hamburg last Friday that the management is discussing this.