In Austrias daily newspaper called “Österreich”, the boss of Austrias Broadcasting Corporation declared that he would accept an imprisonment for contempt to defend basic value of journalism.
The reason of his sorrows are based on a scandal of a TV documentary report which was brought on a channel of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation about politically incorrect youngsters. The reproach is that the makers of the report brought two teenagers to an event of Freedom party leader Heinz Christian Strache, gave them money to buy politically incorrect clothes, and promised to pay extra money if they do the “Sieg Heil” salute infront of the controversial Freedom party politican.
Strache did not wanted to accept such manipulations during his pre-election party, and made a report to the police. The public prosecution department started investigations and wanted to have the original tape of the incident, because the TV people denied the allegations. But the TV channel also denied the access to the original tape, which should prove if the youngsters made the salute, which is a punishable offense in Austria.
Now the boss of the public-sector broadcaster backs up his employees and declared that he would go to prison for his convincement. He said that offering the original tape to the police is a violation of journalistic principles. He would also accept the imprisonment for contempt to avoid the surrender of all available tapes in this case, he told.
Also the chief editor of the Broadcasting Corporation would go to prison for that. The case started the discussion in Austria how much manipulation is allowed for a documentary report which has the requirement to show the real life in Austria. The makers of the TV documentary already confessed that the two teenagers were paid to play the central characters of the show. The two young men were also brought to the event of the Freedom party by the journalists.
Who is lying? The TV makers or the politican Heinz Christian Strache? Maybe we will know in the future.