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German CDU politician pledges more support for Deutsche Welle

In reaction to the spread of "fake news" and disinformation campaigns from abroad, German Christian Democrat politician Marco Wanderwitz has called for more financial support for Deutsche Welle.

Germany's  Christian Democrats (CDU) want to expand the scope and financial support of Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), politician Marco Wanderwitz said on Thursday.

The goal of such an expansion would be to turn DW into a "counterweight to disinformation and propaganda" from abroad, Wanderwitz said in an interview with several German newspapers belonging to the "Funke Media Group."

Wanderwitz is the media spokesman for the CDU and a member of the DW-broadcasting council.

Marco Wanderwitz (DW/Jan Röhl)

CDU politician Marco Wanderwitz

"If we look at how other states fund their international broadcasters and, in part, want to deliberately influence opinions in Germany, it's clear - Deutsche Welle must be perceived as an important voice of the free world."

Therefore, Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party intends to increase financial support for DW in order to "raise it to the level" of other state's larger international broadcasters.

Strong programming

With their appeal for supporting public broadcasting, the CDU distanced itself from the populist Alterative for Germany (AfD) party. Wanderwitz said he never thought it would ever be necessary again to emphasize the importance of press and broadcasting freedom.

"Today, more than ever, we need powerful broadcasters with a strong program that informs and makes sense of events," he said.

Green Party MP Volker Beck wrote on Twitter that he supports expanding DW, but that it could require some reconfiguring.

"I think it's a good idea to make a real international broadcaster out of Deutsche Welle. But then you have to really rebuild and expand," he tweeted.

Unlike other German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, Deutsche Welle is not financed through state media fees, but rather completely through tax money.

rs/rt (AFP, dpa, epd, KNA)

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