Cultural group slams plans to bin Berlin multicultural radio show
The president of German cultural institution Akademie der Künste Klaus Staeck has criticized a recent decision to take a popular Berlin multicultural radio station off air, calling it an “irresponsible rejection of cultural diversity.”
“It’s hard for me to imagine that in a city where 25 percent of the population are immigrants, such a tool for integration and information could be done away with,” Staeck said in a statement on Saturday of radio station RBB’s announcement that it would cut its popular Radiomultikulti programming.
“The members of the Akademie der Künste believe the decision made by the Berlin-Brandenburg broadcasting company (RBB) were wrong,” he added.
On Wednesday, RBB announced they would cut their Radiomultikulti programming in January 2009 due to a €54 million funding shortage. The station said it would also cut its television magazine Polylux.
The Berlin-based Radiomultikulti features radio shows in 21 languages with information for local immigrant communities in addition to world music programming.
The station is a subsidiary of national public broadcast organization ARD, which includes public stations from nine German states, including Deutsche Welle, which broadcasts German news in foreign languages worldwide.
Head of RBB, Ulrike Liedtke, said on Wednesday that despite Radiomultikulti pleas for funding aid from the “wealthy” ARD organization, the station had only received minimal support.
But budget problems should not be the determining factor in the station’s closure, Staeck said on Saturday. “To legitimize public broadcasting, ARD should give equal opportunity to both financially strong and weak stations with minority programming,” he said.