Savings and job cuts announced at Deutsche Welle
The international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) wants to cut costs and cut jobs as part of the digital transformation. A package of measures includes, among other things, precautionary savings and budget shifts from linear to digital offers and to regional languages, the broadcaster announced on Friday evening in Bonn. Around 100 full-time positions are to be eliminated by the end of the year, primarily in Berlin and Bonn. A total of 200 employees are affected, said a broadcaster spokesman when asked. The German Association of Journalists (DJV) and the Verdi union criticized the job cuts.
Reduction of linear program offers – strengthening of digital language learning offers
“Although the federal budget for 2024 has not yet been decided, DW must take preventive steps,” said a DW press release. The new orientation means that Deutsche Welle is gradually reducing program offerings that are played out in a linear manner. At the same time, available funds are to be diverted to digital offers in regional languages.
Director Peter Limbourg explained to the DW Broadcasting Council that only around 250,000 people worldwide used the German-language TV channel regularly. “This means that the use is disproportionate to the considerable effort that we have to put into the channel.” The potential for the linear TV offer in German is very low anyway, regardless of the financial resources. The linear TV offer in German should be retained as a multimedia digital offer. DW will also strengthen its digital language learning offering.
Socially acceptable savings in all areas
Limbourg emphasized that DW would not only make savings in programming, but also in all other areas of the company. For example, investments in technology would be reduced and broadcasting costs reduced. The Broadcasting Council confirmed that socially acceptable solutions would have to be implemented for staff reductions.
According to a statement, Christoph Schmitz, member of the Verdi federal executive board, called for “the measures initiated to be stopped immediately”. It is completely unclear whether financial bottlenecks will arise at all. Verdi spoke of “up to 300 mostly freelancers” who are expected to lose their jobs this year. The chairman of the DJV, Frank Überall, called on the DW management not to save on the program under any circumstances.
As a foreign broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, which is financed from taxpayers’ money and not the broadcasting fee, has so far offered reports for TV, radio and online. It currently broadcasts in 32 languages. As an institution under public law, the broadcaster is subject to the legal supervision of the federal government, but is journalistically independent. In 2022, DW received a total of over 400 million euros.
For jobs and job offers in the IT industry, see also the job market on heise online:
In competition with many other international broadcasters and programs, Deutsche Welle is intended to ensure Germany’s presence in the media around the world and promote understanding for Germany.
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