Lindner can basically imagine help for press publishers

Christian Lindner at the congress of the federal association BDZV

Christian Lindner is willing to discuss downsizing public service broadcasting, but he does not fundamentally question it.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin In the debate about support for press publishers is the Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner basically open to state aid. "I can fundamentally imagine promoting the delivery of newspapers and magazines," he said FDP-Head at the congress of the publishers' association BDZV in Berlin.

However, he emphasized that the aid promised in the traffic light coalition agreement had not yet been decided. The leading Federal Ministry of Economics is still examining which instruments are suitable.

Media consumption is part of social participation. Lindner emphasized at the same timedelivery support must be targeted, fair and non-discriminatory and must be clearly differentiated from editorial content.

Funding for publishers has been a topic of discussion for a long time. in the previous legislature envisaged aid of around 200 million euros failed for the media though.

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"We want to ensure the nationwide supply of periodical press products and examine which funding options are suitable for this," says the coalition agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP. Lindner did not look at the cards as to whether reduced VAT was an option.

Livelihoods of many media houses threatened

The outgoing President of the Federal Association of Digital Publishers and Newspaper Publishers (BDZV), Mathias Döpfner, referred to the enormously increased burdens on the publishing industry since the Ukraine war: rising prices for gas, electricity and paper. This puts the existence of many media houses in question. In addition, the infrastructure for press delivery is on the verge of collapse in many parts of Germany due to high labor costs.

The press publishers meanwhile criticize the fact that public service broadcasting is increasingly becoming a competitor for private media beyond its core task. Minister Lindner said ARD, ZDF & Co would have to ensure the basic supply in terms of information, culture and education.

However, the task is not always to produce new digital special interest channels and online offers, which sometimes compete with commercial journalistic offers in the digital world.

Lindner emphasized that he was ready to discuss resizing and thus downsizing of public service broadcasting. In principle, however, he does not question him – despite recent affairs with RBB and NDR.

If it is possible to freeze the current level of funding for public service broadcasting over the next few years and beyond, achieve efficiency gains and achieve a critical review of the program offering, "then we have already gained something". That is a realistic goal.

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