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Pro-Merkel German newspapers take a nose dive

It was only four weeks ago when Germany's Circulation Guardian IVW threatened to announce the annual sales figures for 2017. It has been a carnage for politically correct newsprint.

Published: February 5, 2018, 9:29 am

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    Express Cologne/Bonn minus 9.5 percent with only 75.346 readers. The edition Dusseldorf with a slack of 25 000, and even more brutal, the BZ Berlin: minus 12.8 percent. The Hamburg MorgenPost: Minus 13.8  (44.624 readers).

    The vast majority of German newspapers are racing towards the abyss of no readers in giant strides.

    The “First Woman”, chief executive Tanit Koch at Bild, also a member of the knockout club for 2017, “stepped down” a few days ago. In only two years, she had managed to lose 600 000 readers.

    Her predecessor Kai Diekmann, had taken Bild from 5 million readers to less than 2 million.

    The rumors that the editor-in-chief of German tabloid Bild was going to be fired, had been going on for months, as well as the rumors that Springer CEO Matthias Döpfner wanted to get rid of both her, as well as the boss of Bild am Sonntag, Marion Horn.

    Both firings are linked to their newspapers dramatically losing circulation – the consequence of seeking proximity to the government, rather than the readers. Both ladies have been protected from their deserved fall.

    Slavishly, Koch had insisted on the old formats and politically correct news. “She learned everything from Kai Diekmann,” it was said during her appointment as editor-in-chief on record. Unfortunately she learnt nothing beyond that.

    “The main reasons for the decline, was like Diekmann, Koch sought the benevolence of power, assisted by Political Editor Nikolaus Blome, the government spokesman disguised as a journalist,” Nicolaus Fest, a former colleague of Koch noted.

    “Criticism of the Chancellor [Merkel] and GroKo [Grand Coalition] was reliably prevented by him, the illegal opening of the border cheered. Whether the takeover of the left-autonomous, but above all grotesquely remote readers slogan “Refugees welcome” was his idea is controversial; at least he did not prevent this,” Fest added.

    The vote at the kiosk where Bild was sold to ordinary readers, went unnoticed by Tanit Koch. Bild, as the newspaper proclaimed under its logo, was no longer “nonpartisan and independent”, and the one-sidedness was too obvious.

    Not coincidentally, the worst selling issue of 2017 was the commemorative edition “Thanks, Helmut Kohl”. For the anticipated hymns to the “Father of Unity”, who is also the father of the euro, national clearance and all subsequent problems, readers no longer wanted to pay.

    But this disaster in sales was ignored by Koch. The result: The new edition numbers, which come out next week, are again to show a loss of eleven percent, while internally there is talk of 14 percent. It is nothing less than a testimony of complete failure.

    The job of the editor-in-chief has sadly never been easier, but Koch chose to dismiss the really big headlines every day: assassins with 14 identities, immigration of convicted murderers, knife murder in supermarkets, rape by machete use in front of a friend, swimming pools under police protection, attacks on paramedics and firefighters, imported polygamy with up to four wives.

    The loss of control of the state has become a talking point, but not in Bild. Koch’s proximity to Merkel prevented the harsh reporting that Bild once stood for, Fest said.

    “When we met some time after her appointment, she asked me how to get out of the ‘Refugees welcome’ number. My advice was to thematize the threat for women,” according to Fest.

    “Tanit thought for a moment, then rejected the suggestion. If all the perpetrators were foreigners, she said, she could not bring the case. It did not occur to her that readers could expect reality beyond all political correctness.”

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