No employment ban for WDR-journalists
- Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, Intendant/Director-General
On June 20, 2003, the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) broadcast "Aktenzeichen 11.9. ungelöst" [File 9/11 Unsolved], a documentary by German filmmakers Willy Brunner and Gerhard Wisnewski. The film dealt critically with the attacks on September 11, 2001, exposed inconsistencies, and raised doubts about the official version of the Bush Administration. The documentary drew a great deal of interest from the public and garnered an enormous rating. Approximately three months after the broadcast, following some political and media pressure, the WDR suddenly imposed an employment ban on the filmmakers.
When the filmmakers defended themselves, the broadcasting company reaffirmed that it "could no longer conceive of" any further cooperation. In a public statement, dated October 24, 2003, the WDR declared that the authors had not "fulfilled their assignment" and "missed the actual target." In fact, the WDR not only commissioned, extensively reviewed and approved the film, but also broadcast the documentary, examined the raw material and explicitly declared that the statements in the film were "not misrepresented or reported in a distorted manner," as some media had claimed.
The filmmakers Brunner and Wisnewski released the following statement: "The WDR has no valid reasons for this employment ban. The WDR always and at any time was informed about the critical content of the film. The WDR always and at any time could ask us questions about the film and was given all answers. The WDR commissioned, paid for and broadcast this critical film. Therefore, there is no reason for a belated employment ban."
The signature-list will not be visible here, but will be published from time to time on the authors website, printed in pdf format and sent to the director-general of the WDR.
Dear Mr. Pleitgen:
On June 20, 2003, the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) broadcast "Aktenzeichen 11.9. ungelöst" [File 9/11 Unsolved], a documentary by German filmmakers Willy Brunner and Gerhard Wisnewski. The film dealt critically with the attacks on September 11, 2001. However, after broadcasting the documentary, the WDR suddenly imposed an employment ban on the filmmakers.
We, the undersigned, have carefully informed ourselves about this matter, in particular from a comprehensive article in Telepolis e-zine, dated October 26, 2003
(http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/co/15909/1.html) and from other sources..
We, the undersigned, hereby declare that the reasons for the employment ban imposed on the filmmakers Willy Brunner and Gerhard Wisnewski are not sound.
We, the undersigned, ask you to:
Stand by your own critical films and protect freedom of speech!
Lift the employment ban imposed on the filmmakers Brunner and Wisnewski!
The No employment ban for WDR-journalists petition to Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, Intendant/Director-General was written by Gerhard Wisnewski and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.