Visit to the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government
In front of the historical backdrop of the former postal giro institution on the Dorotheenstraße, Steffen Seibert, the head of the Press and Information Office and the spokesman of the Federal Government greeted the numerous audience in the auditorium on 18 October 2017. His speech gave an interesting insight into the task of the agency.
When it comes to explaining the work of the federal government to the citizens and especially to the journalists, or to preparing the international news for the government itself, freedom of speech and the press are the main topics. After a brief excursion in the fake news section, social media and the G20 presidency, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions about the daily life in the Federal Press Office. They learned that the spokesman of the Federal Government is required to attend the Federal Press Conference (an association of journalists) three times a week in order to answer questions from the media representatives.
Seibert, who was a journalist for many years prior to his appointment as the spokesman for the Federal Government, emphasizes the importance to relay complex political facts to the citizens in a comprehensive manner. He underlines that the Federal Press Office, contrary to a propaganda ministry, serves the pure purpose to convey information.
Following Seibert’s speech on the history and developments since the founding of the office in 1949, Thilo v. Siegfried showed a short film illustrating the actual workflow in the agency with its 475 employee. The guests had a cursory glance at the history of the historical building and its "transformation from the market hall to the information hub”. The lively discussion continued over pretzels and a glass of wine.
WiB President Dr. Beyer-Zouboulis thanked the hosts for the kind invitation on behalf of everyone present. She pointed out that the view "behind the curtain of power" was seldom as entertaining.