Cuts in cultural programs at public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk: PEN Berlin protests!
In 2019, the Hessischer Rundfunk announced that it would change its cultural programming to the detriment of spoken word, two years later the WDR followed suit and cut literary programs. And now it is the BR that wants to cut formats like »kulturWelt«, »Diwan: Das Büchermagazin«, »Kulturjournal: Kritik Dialog Essay«, »Nachtstudio«, »radioTexte – die Lesungen«, as well as in-house radio dramas. The cuts affect seven hours of broadcasting time each week. Critics within the station say that »culture is becoming a niche product«. This was reported by the Münchner Abendzeitung.
PEN Berlin strongly protests against this decision. Cutting the production of radio plays and radio essays, as well as reviews and interviews, not only harms the often precarious livelihoods of our members. The free word comes under even more pressure when public broadcasting no longer fulfills its constitutional duty to educate. The Bavarian State Media Treaty defines this as follows: »Public broadcasting must serve culture, education, information and advice«.
Anyone who drastically cuts back on cultural broadcasting is also restricting access to facts and the diversity of arguments, and is contributing to the fact that the formation of opinion in Germany is increasingly characterized by one-sidedness, »perceived truths« and blatant lies.
PEN Berlin. We stand by our word.