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BigPicture No. 2: "The Role of Public Media in Germany" with Dr. Wolfgang Herles

On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, the second event of our "BigPicture" series took place at the BPA office. This time, the protagonist was the writer and journalist Dr. Wolfgang Herles, who, among other things, was responsible for the culture magazine "aspekte" and the ZDF Studio in Bonn. Moderated by Dr. Johannes Bohnen, the guests discussed with him the theses of his book "Die Gefallsüchtigen."

In brief: At public broadcasters, the quota dictates the program, even though they are mandated to promote democracy, education, and culture and are exempt from market competition. The result is often not a lively contribution to the urgently needed public discourse as creativity and judgment are not promoted enough, instead, soccer, Traumschiff, and Co. dominate the program. This shows the manifestation of the media's "addiction to pleasure". Herles pointed out ways of counteracting the growing conformism and the "shallowness spiral," e.g. by financing the broadcasters from tax revenues and foregoing advertising revenues and quota orientation. In this way, for example, culture could be strengthened as a central component of the program.

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