Category:East German journalistsThis essay comes from the East German handbook for journalists. Albert Norden was east german journalists top party official. The Journalist in our Day by Albert Norden. In a 29 November broadcast boldenon und testosteron enantat West German television during which a diligent Adenauer journalist was conducting things as usual, there was an interruption. The well-known American-Swiss author and correspondent Robert Jungk east german journalists.
The Journalist in our Day
This essay comes from the East German handbook for journalists. Albert Norden was a top party official. The Journalist in our Day by Albert Norden. In a 29 November broadcast on West German television during which a diligent Adenauer journalist was conducting things as usual, there was an interruption. The well-known American-Swiss author and correspondent Robert Jungk said:.
That cannot go on. Concretely, I mean that today the freedom of opinion in Western newspapers or other Western avenues of public opinion is in a very clever way undermined and suppressed. I appeared for 20 years on the Swiss Weltwoche program. The next day I got a telephone call: The moderator did not let the journalist Jungk go any further. For a moment, however, the wonderful statements about freedom were exposed and the audience could see behind the facade, where the capitalist rulers of public opinion are concealed.
That brings us to one of the decisive questions of our day: What and where is freedom? It is not and cannot be where a tiny minority of the society possesses the overwhelming majority of the newspapers, magazines, and other instruments of public opinion and uses them to incite the hatreds of the cold war.
That is the case in the imperialist phase of capitalism, and it is evident in particular and terrifying clarity in West Germany. It begins with the raw material, paper itself. The most important paper factories in West Germany are the property of a tiny group of millionaires who brought Hitler to power and used his policies of conquest to enrich themselves.
During the early stages of capitalism, individual printers owned newspapers, but today a press system has developed that is typical of the larger monopoly system.
A small group of oil, steel, and bank lords own the leading South German Adenauer paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung along with numerous local papers that are published by the same firm. By he controlled a fourth of the daily circulation of all newspapers in the Federal Republic and West Berlin. The total value of the Springer firm was estimated at about a quarter of a billion, putting him among the top of those in finance capital. Since then Springer has secured a majority of the Ullstein concern, which publishes such major papers in Berlin as the Morgenpost and the BZ, using the most modern printing facilities.
The extraordinary power of the press monopoly is even greater than is suggested by the names of the newspapers and magazines that it owns, since it also controls more than four-fifths of the smaller local newspapers. They cannot afford a full editorial staff or correspondents in other cities and countries. Their domestic and international sections come from correspondents of the press monopolies, or reaches them in a form ready to print. This means that there is full political coordination of the West German press in ways directed by the West German armaments millionaires.
They are usually invisible, but are still the all-powerful directors of the shrill press choir of the cold war leadership that in a thousand variants always finds new provocations against the GDR and the entire socialist camp as it sings the praises of the militarization of West Germany.
The Imperialist press monopoly, the private ownership of paper factories, newspaper and magazine firms and large printing firms is the opposite of freedom. The press has a double function. It is a source of profit, and serves to maintain Imperialist dominance by preaching to the working people the idea that it is God-ordained and useful.
The West German press provides terrible proof of the absence of freedom in West Germany. The great majority of Germans reject the dominance of the trusts. However, nearly the entire West German press advocates the trusts and monopolies through editorial matter and advertising. One does not have to praise the rulers to be of use to them. It is enough to conceal their evil.
The overwhelming majority of the people do not want atomic weapons on West German soil. No newspaper speaks for public opinion, which after all is the real purpose of a free press. A large part of the West German press never tires of claiming to be independent of any party.
And when one considers that most of the newspapers are controlled by industrial concerns without requiring any action on the part of their bribed political parties, this claim is even true On 1 June this lord of the largest continental press trust told the editors of the West Berlin BZ and Morgenpost in the conference room of the Ullstein Building: Thank God, I thought!
One does not need his confession to know which part of Germany is led by those who want war, and which by those who want peace. The best it can do is to point out isolated instances of difficulty. More business means more expensive advertisements, which bring in more than subscriptions. They are the primary source of newspaper revenue. That takes away the last remnant of freedom from the press, reducing it to a purely business enterprise.
Ownership by the wealthy and large advertisements are the protection against any freedom of the press in the West. Under such conditions, there is no freedom of public opinion, at best only the freedom to cautiously complain. The capitalist monopoly of opinion denies the people freedom of opinion. A few hundred owners and big advertisers, along with the dictatorship of their accomplices in the federal government, the generals, and the higher clergy, make a mockery of freedom of opinion.
There are a few free newspapers that are organs of the working class, and that fight against capitalism.. They are therefore persecuted. Their editors constantly have one foot in prison. They must pay for their freedom of opinion by a lack of economic freedom. West Germany today has little more than the facade of bourgeois parliamentarianism. The struggle for democratic parliamentary conditions in West Germany today aims first at winning press freedom for and the legality of the KPD, and the prohibition of military-chauvinistic propaganda.
West German militarism cannot survive if the press is free, that is, if it may write the truth. Freedom from capitalism also means eliminating the capitalist private ownership of newspapers and radio stations as well as the influence of advertising monopolies. It creates the foundations for true freedom of the press. The free existence of a free press begins where the dictatorship of the monopolist robber barons of the twentieth century ends and the rule of the working class, in cooperation with farmers and the intelligentsia, begins.
The newspapers, magazines, radio and television of the socialist state meet the wish for an integrated, honest and moral form of publication. Advertising, which in capitalism is a every effective means of influencing the political sections of the press and radio, has entirely lost this function in socialism since the overwhelming majority of advertisements are for socialist institutions. No private interest can turn the press into a tool of its selfish interests and order editors to do what it wants, since in socialism there is no private ownership of the means of public opinion.
The journalist in socialism receives orders from his own conscience and from the people and their organizations. That is not insignificant, and we carry on this legacy in a time in which the West German press is the handmaiden of the dark lords of clerical militarism. Still, that is only a part of the function of journalism in the German Democratic Republic. Its primary mission is to build the enthusiasm of its readers, listeners and viewers for the noble cause of socialism, and to explain to them the laws of historical development in our day.
Each editorial staff should therefore strive to initiate its own actions in the political economic and cultural spheres. That is surely no small task! It can be met only by one who understands all the important problems of our society, who know precisely the situation in the large factories, farming villages and administrative offices of his county and district, who is personally connected to the workers, farmers and others, and who is moved by a powerful desire for positive change.
The ideal publication of our day tirelessly and manfully defends peace, teaches Marxism-Leninism, draws a compelling picture of the greatness of socialism, and shows through as many lively and local examples as possible how each individual can and should participate in this work. That is how minds are awakened to win new victories in agriculture and industry, and how mistakes, errors and false methods are uncovered.
Then, in the words of N. Khrushchev, journalists will be the right hand of the party. Their highest goal is to be participants in the socialist process of construction, and to speed it up.
The standard of the Imperialist press in the second half of this century is the major newspaper, filled with pictures and advertising, what only whips up the lower instincts and degrades people. Moral decay and chauvinistic lies against the GDR grow on the same tree. The standard of the socialist press of the GDR is the education of the new German person and the realization of the national ideals of our people.
German history has always been the history of the martyrdom of the German people, as long as the Junkers and big capitalists ruled. Their increasing power and property and profits came at the cost of their fellow countrymen and naturally of other nations too.
Only the rise to power of a class foreign to every form of exploitation, one that does not follow selfish interests, only the rise to power of the working class in the east of Germany opened the way to truly national German policies. The workers and farmers live from their own work, not at the cost of foreign nations or other classes.
They are the enemy of any policies leading to war and conquest that will destroy Germany. Their special interests are the same as that of the entire nation. This is the high mission of the socialist press in our GDR. It uses the examples of history and the new relations between people and classes and various occupations in the GDR to prove that under the symbol of the hammer, sickle, and grain sheave of the GDR, a new national community is developing whose first goal is peace in Germany and the whole world.
No one has a greater duty to tirelessly attack the ruling Imperialist-militarist-inhuman circles in Bonn than the journalists of the GDR. They must reveal its aggressive plans for war, reveal its hostile actions in intelligent and persuasive ways, and combat the ideology of the big capitalists and their lackeys. The state of the workers and of socialism is a state of peace. Experience shows that the victorious socialist construction in our republic also has the greatest persuasive power beyond our state border as well, and deals powerful blows to West German militarism.
Therefore, the historically great deeds of the socialist community of the people in our republic deserve first place and the loving attention of our journalists. Seldom has it been as clear as it is today that the journalism of the bourgeois and that of the working class are incompatible.
The fundamental evil of our age, the exploitation of people by people through finance capital, is taboo for the press, radio, and television of the West. We, however, present people with the new age, with the community of socialist work, in which the millennia old egotism of people an exploiting society must give way to new social relationships and altruistic feelings and deeds. This era began on 7 November We sing the praise of the textile worker who sets aside her personal interest to help a colleague who lags behind, helping her to higher productivity.
The opinion makers west of the Elbe River present the parasites at the top of the society, film stars, and aristocratic fossils. They scorn our heroes, simple workers under socialism. Understanding their situation, they do not see or are not allowed to see that German history is no longer determined by robber barons with or without weapons, but rather by people who have been the whipping boys of German history ever since the dissolution of tribal society, but who have since found their place in the East of Germany.