‘Media freedom is an utmost value’: Watchdog allows German TV to continue airing RT show
After examining the factual background of the case, the TLM, the media watchdog of the German federal state of Thuringia, saw no reason to impose any restrictions on a local Thuringia TV channel, Salve.TV, in airing “The missing Part (Der Fehlende Part) news talk-show” from RT Deutsch.
“Salve.TV has a legal right under the German law to air the show regularly and without any comment. Someone might not like the content of the show, but the channel is free to air such shows,” the TLM’s head, Jochen Fasco, told local Freies Wort newspaper.
“Variety of information sources and media freedom is an utmost value in Germany,” he added commenting on the TLM’s decision.
Fasco also stated that, according to the law, local channels are not limited to broadcasting only local programs and news, and have the right to air international or foreign shows as well.
Salve.TV assured the TLM that the channel received no money for airing the RT show.
The critics accused Salve.TV of broadcasting a “biased” and “one-sided” show that served as an “instrument of propaganda,” while the channel argued that it was seeking to present an alternative point of view, which was different from the German mainstream media’s position.
Defending the channel’s policy, Klaus-Dieter Boehm, the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Salve.TV, said that everyone should have a right to form his or her own opinion independently.
Salve.TV was the subject of harsh criticism during an earlier controversy, when the channel decided to allow Thuringia Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow from the Left Party to anchor his own show, “Ramelow & Co,” and to personally comment on his own public speeches.
The decision caused an uproar among some German politicians and lawyers who considered the program an attempt to present political propaganda as objective news, which is prohibited, but the TLM concluded that the show did not breach the law in that case as well.