Germany’s Ambassador in Bucharest: I would like politics – mass-media relation centered on voter needs

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Germany’s Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Werner Lauk said on Wednesday in the opening of the “Romanian-German mass-media days” that he wants the relation between journalists and politics to have the voter’s needs at its core.

As a citizen and mass-media consumer, I would like a relation between politics and media placing at the core my needs as a voter and citizen, which would see, through a proper cooperation, that I am well informed and which is meant to help me understand the developments in this world of ours, increasingly more complex, said Germany’s Ambassador.

He underscored that the “task of mass-media is, ultimately, the unbiased control of the state and politics to the citizens’ interest, as part of a democracy.”

Without mass-media and serious journalism, democracy can’t survive. They [journalists] mediate between the state, politics and citizens and represent to all of us an institution that is essential to an open and democratic society, the diplomat added.

Lauk said that the politics – mass-media relation is in the focus of Wednesday’s event called “Politics and mass-media: opponents or partners?”. The diplomat added that scheduling the Romanian-German debate about the media – politics relation at the same time with a wider debate in Romania, that of scrapping the radio-tv fee, was a coincidence.

“When we started preparations for the conference, in the beginning of summer, we couldn’t have known that our meeting will take place in the middle of a discussion in principle on politics in the mass-media area. We really couldn’t foresee that these days there would be a principle talk on how public media institutions must be funded,” Lauk said.

He mentioned that in his country it was decided many decades ago that the public radio and television corporations should be funded through fees, out of “the conviction that exactly such a radio-tv fee allows the supply of independent news, free from economic and political interests.”

Romania’s Parliament has decided for another model and believes that a television funded from the state budget represents a guarantee of political independence, Werner Hans Lauk added.

The diplomat mentioned that the relation between politics and media is not limited to the issue of public media institutions funding, but it entails much more. This is actually about the professional identity of the two groups, Lauk added.

In this respect, underscored Germany’s Ambassador in Bucharest, both journalists and politicians must define their roles in society and in relation to each other.

Among the speakers at the event there are Revista 22 editor-in-chief Alexandru Lazescu and spokesman of the National Bank of Romania Dan Suciu.