Traditionally, journalists at the Berliner Zeitung dedicate their second page to the "theme of the day". This Monday is something unusual: the Berliner Zeitung itself. Online journalists have even created the rubric "In their own right". The fills in particular with texts to the informer past of the new owner Holger Friedrich.
Researchers Welt am Sonntag had confronted the IT entrepreneur, who appeared surprisingly with his wife Silke Friedrich in September as a buyer of the Berliner Zeitung , with his own Stasi file. Friedrich admitted in a text published on Friday, as a soldier to have written reports on comrades, but also spoke of an "emergency situation": The DDR regime have blackmailed him. The alternative was the prison. In addition, at the very first opportunity he had "withdrawn from the forced situation of active deconspiration" and henceforth "denied cooperation with the MfS". Nevertheless, the indignation is great now. The image editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt even used this template to discredit the entire title on Twitter: "Thirty years after the fall of the wall, the Berliner Zeitung is back in Stasi hands."
The editorial board said on Sunday that it wanted to "prepare this case journalistic (...), gather facts, inspect the files - the acts of the victims and the perpetrators" (...), get an idea and ask experts to get an idea of what (...) try to talk to people who are in the files ". The editorial staff must now dedicate their journalistic energy to their own owner - 30 years after the fall of the Wall and at a time when, after years of thinning out, they hardly know how to use their resources for long-term research.
Your new owner has brought the editors even more trouble. On November 8, the newspaper reported on its front page about an "East German success story in medicine": The company Centogene from Rostock went public in the USA. So far, so newsworthy - even other media such as the ARD did that. However, there was no information that the Spiegel got and published on Friday: Friedrich, the one with the sale of an IT company by his own admission to "too much money" came, sits on the board of the company, which cheered his editorial staff.
Yes, the reference to Centogene had come from Friedrich, explains the editorial now in-house "Tagesthema" and emphasized: "Neither the editorship nor the two science editors was at this time aware that Holger Friedrich is involved in the company." From then on, the reporting will be "invariably checked to see if business interests of the business couple Friedrich or of our company are affected - and make this public".
"We are like a nice steel boat"
And then there's the "Berlin Embassy" of Friedrich's, as her editorial was titled in the printed edition of 8 November. In it they had on the one hand called for speed and progress and wondered, for example, whether elections would not be more feasible and via smartphone. On the other hand, they also declared that they wanted to "make a contribution" to "extra-parliamentary opposition in a new format, also in the sense of bourgeois self-empowerment". Her comments on Russia ("Why did not we reach out to Putin's outstretched hand in 2001?") And her tribute to the last secretary-general of the SD Central Committee, Egon Krenz ("We are grateful to him and would like to ask if it is in the same degree was to condemn him, among other to four and a half years in prison ").
Since the publication of this editorial many have been wondering what the new publisher's mission is. "Bourgeois self-empowerment: Is not that the sound of Pegida?" Asks about the former editor in chief of the Berliner Zeitung, Uwe Vorkötter, in his Horizon analysis. The SPD up-and-coming star Kevin Kühnert again tweets with a link to the editorial, saying that he had "taken to pursuing the development of the newspaper", which he had read like no other. "She did not deserve this narcissistic horror show." Editors begged: "Please, please, do not write us off, we're still here!"
In a detailed interview with the rbb station radioeins, which the author of this text has carried along, said Silke Friedrich shortly after the announcement of the owner change, the two are on a long term: "We do not do a sprint, but we are like a beautiful steel boat, a nice Verpränger, the out of the water. " Her husband Holger added that they were "interested in setting up an institution for Berlin so that it has its meaning in the 21st century as well". Alone: How do the youngestEskapaden fit in with the future?