German broadcaster plans to cut docu slot

BERLIN — German documentary filmmakers have protested against plans by pubcaster ARD to cut its documentary strand.

In an open letter from the documentary film association, AG Dokumentarfilm, ARD was accused of pandering to lowest common denominator audiences in sacrificing their regular documentary programming in favor of a new talkshow following a rescheduling of the nightly news.

“Important ideas will no longer be discussed, just smugly talked to death,” the organization said. “You have to save documentary production in Germany. Marginalizing documentaries in public television will mean that the new generation of documentary filmmakers, educated with public funds, will have no career.”

A final decision by the station’s programming committee is expected on Nov. 29.

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