According to SMS – publishers accept apology from Axel Springer boss Döpfner

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Newspaper publishers have accepted an apology from the association president and Springer boss Mathias Döpfner to a controversial private SMS. The Federal Association of Digital Publishers and Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) announced on Wednesday after a regular meeting of the Presidium: “At the beginning of the meeting, Mathias Döpfner once again presented the occurrence and the context of his private statement and reiterated his distancing and an express apology During the discussion, the members of the Presidium found Döpfner’s explanations and arguments to be consistent with a large majority and accepted his apology. ”

The head of the Axel Springer Group (“Bild”, “Welt”) had described the former editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt, who had been relieved of his duties for a few weeks, as the last and only journalist in Germany who was still in the older short message to revolt courageously against the “new GDR authoritarian state”. Almost everyone else has become “propaganda assistants”. The US newspaper “New York Times” quoted the SMS in a report in October and made it public.

Springer then classified the content of the SMS as irony. There was criticism in the publishing industry, in some cases it was also expressed publicly. Döpfner then expressed his regret in a letter to the publishers. At the same time he asked for support “with the tasks of the association”. The association then announced that the Presidium would discuss the criticism of the SMS at the next meeting.

According to the association, the panel stated at the meeting on Wednesday that it was undisputed that the discussion about “alleged attitudes and positions” of the president was not good for the association. The wording in the text message was of course unacceptable, the Presidium had unanimously committed to independent journalism as well as freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The BDZV also announced: “After the constructive discussion, this does not represent a reason to question the very successful work of the Presidium in recent years.”

The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ) published an interview with Döpfner at the beginning of November, in which the newspaper referred to voices calling for his resignation as association president and asking whether he would resign. The Springer boss replied, among other things: The association has achieved a lot, the most important things are still ahead of him. At the same time, Döpfner said: “But if a majority of the members think that a very unfortunate formulation in a private exchange of views has made me a burden for the association, then I will of course accept that.” / Rin / DP / stw

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