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He additionally stated the Bild office tradition wouldn’t be replicated in america. “We won’t tolerate any conduct in our organizations worldwide that doesn’t comply with our very clear compliance insurance policies. We aspire to be the very best digital media firm within the democratic world with the very best moral requirements and an inclusive, open tradition,” he stated.

Axel Springer forwarded a letter from legal professionals stating that Bild was not legally obliged to fireside Mr. Reichelt.

However a March 1 message from Mr. Döpfner to a pal with whom he later had a falling out over the best way the corporate dealt with the allegations towards Mr. Reichelt, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, means that, whereas Mr. Döpfner was central to deciding find out how to act on the investigation’s findings as chief govt, he might not have been neutral. Within the message, despatched after Axel Springer had turn into conscious of the allegations, however earlier than the investigation was underway, Mr. Döpfner referred to an opinion column by Mr. Reichelt complaining about Covid restrictions.

Mr. Döpfner wrote that “we’ve got to be particularly cautious” within the investigation, as a result of Mr. Reichelt “is de facto the final and solely journalist in Germany who continues to be courageously rebelling towards the brand new GDR authoritarian state,” in response to a replica of the message that I obtained. (The reference to GDR, or Communist East Germany, on this context, is a bit like “woke mob.”) Mr. Döpfner additionally wrote that Mr. Reichelt had “highly effective enemies.”

Mr. Döpfner’s political assertion in that message could seem at odds along with his acknowledged plans for his new American properties, which The Wall Road Journal reported final week, will “embody his imaginative and prescient of unbiased, nonpartisan reporting, versus activist journalism, which, he stated, is enhancing societal polarization within the U.S. and elsewhere.”

As Axel Springer was struggling to include the fallout from the Bild investigation, Mr. Döpfner’s focus was on Washington. This spring and summer time, he carried out secret, parallel conversations with executives at two rival information organizations primarily based in Washington, Politico and Axios, the positioning began in 2016 by the previous Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz.

Mr. Döpfner’s objective was to purchase each and mix them right into a mighty competitor to the nation’s largest information shops. The Politico acquisition, introduced in August, was a triumph for his firm. However behind the scenes, Axel Springer’s courting fashion had alienated its different goal.

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