The new ARD chairman Kai Gniffke has announced that he intends to strengthen the variety of positions offered by the stations. In an interview with the "Schweriner Volkszeitung", Gniffke said, "whenever we have the impression that people feel overlooked, then it is our job to give these people a face and a voice".
Gniffke emphasized that it is at the heart of the public service mandate to make diversity in Germany heard. "This applies in particular to the regions in East Germany." The ARD chairman expressed himself critically about the sometimes over-reaching instructions given by journalists in his company.
This also applies with a view to East Germany. "Maybe we can get better, even 30 years after unity, at better understanding and mapping the still existing differences in the perception of reality, without raising the suspicion that we want to educate people."
People are smart enough to form their own opinions, Gniffke said. "No one has to help." Gniffke took office as ARD chairman at the beginning of the year, replacing WDR director Tom Buhrow. Buhrow has held the office on an interim basis since the resignation of RBB director Patricia Schlesinger.
After taking office, Gniffke declared that good journalism was “one of the foundations of our society”. It is important for distinguishing between reality and fake. As a core task for the future, ARD clearly has changed media use in mind, such as the expansion of digital in the ARD Mediathek and ARD Audiothek.
The ARD should not leave the future to foreign tech companies. “And maybe we can even lead this change with German ingenuity, engineering and courage. The journalism of the future needs ethical and technical standards. We are working flat out on that.”