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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 87 (April 1947)

Press and radio comments,   pp. 24-31 PDF (4.3 MB)


Page 31

R e a c ti onso  Z o n e5 'a'rs  N o  t e
Appioximately half of the readers of the
(erman language licensed press in the US
Zone are satisfied-.with,.the newspapers in
their communities, while only one reader
in twenty thinks that his local. paper is
"bad," according to a public opinion survey
bv the Information Control Division, OMG-
US. To determine reader reaction to 32
out of the 44 German-published newspapers
in the Zone, interviewers questioned about
8,000 Germans over a period of two months.
In response to the questions, "What do
you think of the newspaper being publish-
ed in this community?" 48 percent answer-
ed "very good or good," 37 percent an-
swered "fair," and five percent classified
their local papers as "bad.' Ten percent ex-
pressed no opinion. Improvement was noted
by 29 percent, whirle. three percent contend
that they have "gotten worse"; others felt
there had been no change. That the coverage
of the papers has been adequate was indicat-
ed when 74 percent answered "yes" to the
question, ",Does your newspaper contain
everything you are interested in?"
The interviewed Germans were not deeply
concerned over the possible influence of MG
control of the press. Readers know that
their newspapers must meet certain require-
ments set forth by Military Government, but
25 percent named censorship or control by
the occupying power as one of the "main
difficulties under which the newspapers
must work at the present time." Actually
only post-publication scrutiny of the licens-
ed press is exercised by Military Govern-
ment. There is no censorship of the press
in the US Zones.
The Germans expressed    overwhelming
agreement with MG policy of fostering a
non-partisan, but not unpolitical, press. The
question brought a 77 percent vote in favor
of a nonparty press. Fifteen percent had
no opinion, and only eight percent favored
a party press. Only 16 percent of the readers
charged that their papers showed political
preferenee.
A significant correlation between reader
popularity and ICD evaluation of the va-
rious newspapers was discovered among the
Bavarian papers rated highest by ICD. The
four papers which are doing the most vig-
orous and intelligent jobs of reorientation
and reeducation, according to the Informa-
tion Control Security Boards, are also among
the top eight in reader popularity.
While newspaper criticism of local Ger-
man government policies is a radical depar-
ture from press behavior in the Nazi era,
readers are highly in favor of it. Seventy
percent of the newspaper readers interview-
ed answered "yes" to the question, "Do you
think that the local newspaper should crit-
icize the local administration if the pub-
lishers think it is not doing a good job?"
Truman Message Praised
Favorable comments were expressed by
the German licensed press on the message
of President Truman to Congress on Greece-
and Turkey. Describing the message as. a
straw in the wind, the Fraenkische Presse
(Bayreuth) said:
"The economic and political balance of the
continent is disturbed and needs help. That
can only come from a source that was not
directly affected by the destruction of war.
If the statement of President Truman means
the growth of the recognition that assistance
must be rendered - not only to Greece and
Turkey - it might be an early sign for
a balancing and stabilization of conditions
on the continent, which is anxiously need-
ed at many places."l
Das Zeit-Echo (Schwlaebisch-HalI) said
"The most positive part of the whole event
is the courage and initiative with which help
is being brought where it is really needed.
The enormous financial burden that is being
assured by the United States deflates ipso
facto the accusations that 'dollar diplomacy'
was driving at world hegemony."


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