ORF: Who the state television serves

Helmut Melzer

"Unconstitutional" - That says none other than Armin Wolf, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of TV Information, about the composition of the ORF foundation board: “The Board of Trustees must be reappointed by May. As in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018, this will happen under a law that is manifestly unconstitutional. In the next board of trustees, the government majority will be even larger than before. The fact that this violates the human rights convention and the constitution will continue to be of no interest to anyone.”

The fact is: the local government with the ÖVP and the Greens does not have a majority among voters more. According to the current Sunday question, only 37 percent of the votes could be achieved together. When the new board of trustees is reappointed in May, the existing government will have a decisive majority over our information for four long years, even if it has to retire after new elections as the loser.

It is also a fact: In the course of the corona pandemic, the ORF, especially in the essential ZIB1 format, has proven to be extremely uncritical. As if there hadn't been or still isn't any ambiguity. It can be said: When it comes to Corona, the ORF has proven to be the mouthpiece of the government. In any case, objectivity and professional ethics look different to me. Is it really naïve to expect a little more, especially with such a hot topic? Is it naïve to expect that the ORF will serve to objectively educate the local population?

So it's no wonder that the opposition is also reacting and the party propaganda channels are booming: the SPÖ parliamentary club has been spreading its political opinions via for a number of years, especially via Facebook. And now the Momentum Institute has finally disclosed its major donors. At the forefront: the Chamber of Labor and the Austrian Trade Union Federation, so also close to the SPÖ. But don't worry, the other parties are not far behind, and have long since established their "media" as well. But how many millions of euros in original tax money have already flowed into the propaganda machine?

Also a fact and confirmed by a court: The ÖVP deceived the voters in the 2013, 2017 and 2019 elections and exceeded the upper limit for election campaign costs by millions. There is a reason for this: no product is so bad that it cannot be sold with a few million marketing dollars. The ÖVP has probably understood that too. And even better: the government line free of charge via ORF.

When we talk about political propaganda, disinformation and state television, we currently mean in particular Putin and Russia. But hey, our parties can obviously do it just as well. It's just stupid that we should also pay for ORF and party propaganda.

Photo / Video: Option.

Written by Helmut Melzer

As a long-time journalist, I asked myself what would actually make sense from a journalistic point of view. You can see my answer here: Option. Showing alternatives in an idealistic way - for positive developments in our society.

Leave a Comment