A lot has been written about press cards: both true and false. A popular legend is the one about the official or magisterial press card. As a matter of fact: official press cards do not exist. As well, no institution or authority in Germany is issuing standardised press cards. Nevertheless: sometimes the freedom of opinion is interpreted very broadly, for example if it is stated contrary to the facts that official or magisterial press cards are issued by certain organisations. More informations: here
As a matter of fact is: even associations are not explicitly or exclusively entitled to issue press cards. The issue of press cards by government offices or a few associations is not desirable at all. The reason: the guaranteed freedom of press set forth in section 5 of the Basic Constitutional Law and the freedom of reporting must not be undermined.
The issue of press cards within the scope of journalistic activities is permitted by law, including by a media association like GNS. After all, the legislator is in favour of securing journalistic independence. However, the latter is not only represented by associations or other journalist associations.
Press codex, press cards and bribed reporting
Bribed reporting is not ok; there is certainly no need to cite the press codex in this respect. This should be obvious, shouldn’t it? Not quite. Because for many years, the daily routine of a journalist or reporter or press photographer has been laced with discounts. It is not worth mentioning that companies provide pleasantries, invitations to events or test cars (including for private use). It is no coincidence that the profession of journalists is among the runners-up – i.e. at the bottom end of trustworthy professions, on par with politicians.
Why do journalists in particular need the rail card at half price, flights at up to 50 percent off or hefty discounts for rental cars or cars? A PC almost as a gift, vacations at a mini price. Is this all done in the name of objective reporting? The press card serves as entrance ticket to the exclusive world of hidden sponsoring. Virtually nothing is done to curb the profound affiliation between companies and journalists, not even by journalist associations.
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