German state-owned broadcaster drops staffers after antisemitism probe
Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public broadcaster, announced this week that five staff members had been let go after a probe which looked into antisemitic comments made on and off the job, and also examined its recruiting processes, as well as the diversity of guest speakers.
Besides the five staffers, four of whom worked at the Arabic desk, some freelancers for the outlet have also been terminated, and the investigation is ongoing.
So far, it has not uncovered evidence of a systematic problem at the public broadcaster, which receives hundreds of millions in federal funds every year.
Individual instances of antisemitism include one journalist referring to Israel as a “cancer,” according to Bild newspaper, and a recruiter comparing Jewish people to “ants,” and even Holocaust denial, according to the investigative report from Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) that helped kick off the internal investigation.
The probe began in December and was conducted by independent investigators. Only publicly available information like social media posts was analyzed for it.
The company also announced that it would be providing staff members and business partners with “detailed guidelines” on what defines antisemitism, and there will be “additional hires” for the Israel correspondence office.