Press Attacks Government Censorship | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 28.11.2003
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Press Attacks Government Censorship

Germany's newspapers launched a coordinated attack Friday against a growing practice of politicians and industry chiefs to censor interviews, denouncing the habit as "control mania." The papers, including the heavyweight Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) all printed articles and comments deploring the practice, which is quite common in Germany while U.S. journalists generally don’t let interview partners revise their statements after the fact. The German government has a policy where all interviews with senior officials can only appear in the press after they have been approved and corrected. Friday’s editorial in the FTD said that "reworked interviews are the wrong kind of norm in Germany" while the leftist tageszeitung printed a censored interview with Olaf Scholz, general secretary of the ruling Social Democrats, with all his responses blacked out in protest. The government's chief spokesman, Bela Anda, told reporters that there was a need for "a sensible debate" between both sides.