The leftist newspaper Tageszeitung (TAZ) refers to Linda Zervaki, journalist and presenter of Greek origin, who last June coordinated the Republica Conference on the Digital Economy in Berlin, one of the largest events of its kind in Europe. As it became known much later, the popular presenter had received an invitation from the chancellery to coordinate this event, which included a short interview with Chancellor Olaf Solz. At the same time, she received “compensation” of 1,130.50 euros to cover her expenses on that particular day.

It wasn’t anything illegal. But was it legitimate? Is it fully in line with the ethical principles of the profession? For TAZ there is an issue: “In Republica, the presenter of Pro7 Linda Zervaki was not an independent journalist, but was hired by the chancellery without transparency in this regard. Apparently, Soltz’s people were afraid that he would take critical questions. Just a month ago, this public relations action became known, following an investigation by TAZ. Linda Zervaki does not want to talk to TAZ. Her manager, Ansa Zeidenstuker, did not answer most of the questions and only insisted on one issue in particular, as she was confronted with the results of the investigation: that Zervaki had not received a fee for presenting Republica.

Simple “compensation” or something more?

Linda Zervaki had taken legal action to prevent related publications by TAZ, but eventually withdrew the application for injunctive relief she had filed. Her lawyer points out that she does not want publicity, in order “not to weaken her negotiating position for the presentation of other events, for example corporate events”. But the newspaper insists that the “compensation” of 1,130.50 euros “is a rather high amount that exceeds even the fees for similar events (presentations)”. In addition, the TAZ columnist reports, “Pro7, Zervaki’s channel, had paid the expenses of going to the Conference. She herself traveled in the morning by train from Munich to Berlin and returned in the evening, staying only six hours in the capital and did not spend the night there. This is evident from the train tickets and timetable information that her lawyer had sent to the court. Her channel, Pro 7, announced that it saw no problem with the interview (of the chancellor) as she was not paid.”

However, the representative of the channel gives another explanation for the amount of the compensation: “With the compensation of 1,130 euros we we can’t even pay for styling and makeup for a presentation. Neither for Mrs. Zervaki, nor for any other presenter or presenter.”

For those not in the know: Linda Zervaki grew up in Hamburg and is one of the most beloved faces on German television. She was the first foreign presenter
on the main newscast of the first channel of public television (ARD). After a few years he left to host a show on the private channel Pro 7.