“Berliner Zeitung” reprimanded for conflict of interest | TIME ONLINE

"Berliner Zeitung" reprimanded for conflict of interest | TIME ONLINE


The has a report on an East German biotech company Berlin newspaper filed a complaint from the German Press Council. As the committee announced, the complaint was made because of a conflict of interest by the publisher Holger Friedrich, which had not been disclosed. The press council is a voluntary self-regulation of the press.

In November the mirror reported about the newspaper article. Accordingly, Friedrich was sitting in the Supervisory board the biotech company and held shares in the Rostock company Centogene – which was not mentioned in the article.

Editor-in-chief knew nothing of the participation, according to the Berliner Zeitung

The Berlin newspaper had subsequently announced that Friedrich had given the publisher and the editor-in-chief the information that Centogene was the world market leader in genetic engineering analysis and that its IPO could be an occasion for reporting. “Neither the editor-in-chief nor the two science editors were aware at the time that Holger Friedrich was involved in the company. If it had been different, the editorial team would have included this information in the article,” the statement said.

The press council referred to a passage in the press code on the separation of activities. It states: “If a journalist or publisher performs a function in addition to his journalistic activity, for example in a government, an authority or in a commercial enterprise, all those involved must ensure that these functions are strictly separated.”

In the autumn the couple Silke and Holger Friedrich had the financially stricken Berlin newspaper taken over – according to its own statement, without really knowing the sheet. Later, a controversial editorial from her pen and Friedrich’s secretive IM activity caused a sensation. Most recently, it was said that editor-in-chief Matthias Thieme resigned after only three weeks.

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