He announced this in a letter to employees on Friday. The commission is to work with the existing ethics council to develop a “code of conduct” that summarizes the existing rules of conduct and, if necessary, provides for tightening, it says.
The focus should be on dealing with political decision-makers in a journalistic context. The events of the past few days have raised the question of possible political influence on the ORF and its reporting, according to Weißmann in the employee information available to the APA. “We cannot and will not allow this independence to be questioned,” he says.
The ORF editors had previously requested in a resolution that all three editor-in-chief positions in the multimedia newsroom be re-advertised “immediately”. The tender must be accompanied independently and externally and the order must be made in consensus with the editors, free from political influence. “Wishes and desires from the board of trustees must not play a role in these appointments,” it says.
Weißmann does not respond to this demand. “With the upcoming personnel decisions in the ORF information, I will of course make sure that the procedure is based on factual criteria and without any external influence,” he promises. It is still unclear who will take over the multimedia department management for domestic policy, foreign policy, economy and chronicle. These functions are to be advertised at the end of the year, Weißmann said recently in an APA interview.
The resolution passed at an editorial meeting on Thursday also calls for the introduction of a regular media magazine on TV. So far, the ORF only has a monthly media magazine called “Doublecheck” on Ö1. According to “Standard”, the satirist Florian Scheuba is already working on a concept for a TV media magazine. Scheuba believes that such a format would be an essential platform for the ORF, also for self-critical self-portrayal. He wanted to approach the topic through satire. He is working on the concept with the satirical platform “Tagespresse” and the research platform “Dossier”. Whether the program will also be realized is questionable.
“The events of the past few days have massively shaken the ORF’s credibility. That’s why everything must now be done to regain the trust of our audience,” said the news editors. The chat affair – the meanwhile retired ORF-TV-News editor-in-chief Matthias Schrom exchanged views in 2019 as ORF 2 editor-in-chief with ex-FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache on the content of ORF reporting and personnel requests from the FPÖ – must be transparent and publicly processed. The ORF journalists welcome Schrom’s resignation.