KenFM is an independent German internet journalism portal, established in 2011 by television and radio presenter Ken Jebsen. It is as such the successor of a former radio show - KenFM, which had over the course of ten years been hosted by Ken Jebsen, aired from 2001 to 2011 on the youth channel Radio Fritz of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB). Despite its popularity the show abruptly came to an end. According to the RBB Ken Jebsen had "repeatedly disregarded binding agreements", consequently co-operation was ended on 23 November 2011 and the program was discontinued permanently.
Since the program's relaunch on a freelance basis in spring 2012, funded entirely through donations KenFM has been producing news reports, interviews, talk-shows, political comments and analyses on a regular basis. All releases are presented free of charge on public internet video portals. As one of the most prolific representatives of the alternative media sector in Germany KenFM publishes various product formats a week for the German speaking audience.
KenFM states on its homepage that "democracy is at risk or already abolished in many areas". As it considers itself to represent the free press, "exclusively dedicated to its users" KenFM "attempts" to reverse this process.
Beginning in 2015 the program series The Missing Link was launched as a feature of KenFM International addressing an international audience with productions in English language.
On Saturday, April 28, 2001 KenFM aired for the first time between 6 and 10 PM broadcasting from a fashion boutique in Berlin as the show changed its place several times over the course of the following years. Further noticeable publication stations are the Peugeot Avenue (Unter den Linden, Berlin-Mitte), Mini-Berlin ( Friedrichstrasse, Berlin-Mitte) and the Sony Center (Potsdamer Platz, Berlin-Tiergarten).
"During the four hours of the show politics, entertainment and pop-culture are mixed-up indiscriminately" and at least one local musical act or band was introduced weekly, usually performing and/or playing some of their creations on stage. Occasionally, playwrights, writers, poets and alternative artists were invited and introduced.
The show soon received widespread acclaim by critics for its unconventional style "dedicated to intelligent madness and playing with the twisted spoken word". In an article in March 2004 titled "Neuroscience instead of Quiz Show" the TAZ newspaper, disillusioned with the "...particularly pathetic example of German Radio programming", highlights the contrasts and portrays the audience's approval of its authenticity - "four hours live, no rehearsal [...] a game based on science, history, philosophy and the arts. Brain research and nuclear physics instead of Super Contest and senseless advertising".
Eventually KenFM broadcast every Sunday afternoon between 14 and 18 O'clock from Fritz Studios in Potsdam-Babelsberg. In addition to occasional live shows in the field, recordings of events that did not fit in the four hour live air-time or did not take place on Sundays were separately published. Excerpts of the show were offered as podcast since January 2006. Since March 2006 the KenFM podcast also offered the Fritz.de playlist. Concerts and musical performances were recorded and filmed and a video of the appearance produced plus interviews with bands or band members and published at FritzTV on Fritz.de the following days and a YouTube channel labeled KenFM2008 was established.
Once every two to three months KenFM staged the "Amt für Unterhaltung (Department of Entertainment)" show. In it artists were given the opportunity to present themselves for about 15 minutes each on the live show.
On November 6, 2011 KenFM was off air without an announcement as links and references to KenFM and the person Ken Jebsen had been temporarily removed from the broadcaster's home page. A journalist had informed the RBB program management about an email, allegedly written by Ken Jebsen to one of his listeners which was said to contain anti-Semitic statements and non-factual claims on international politics. Although Ken Jebsen contradicted the allegations, he did not deny having written the email. On November 7, 2011 Fritz program director Stefan Warbeck stated that measures had been taken in order to keep moderator Ken Jebsen from further harm. On November 9, the RBB decided to carry on with Ken Jebsen in spite of program director Claudia Nothelle expressing "that he clearly had crossed the line in several cases“. Jebsen was instructed to double-check future political issues, to stick to journalistic standards and re-focus and concentrate on KenFM again becoming a predominantly music program. Finally the RBB took the radio broadcast from the program on 23 November 2011. According to program director Claudia Nothelle, "many of his contributions did not meet the journalistic standards of the RBB". Jebsen dismissed the allegations again and announced the continuation of his work on the Internet.
The first 90-minute program was published on April 1, 2012 Sunday 14 O'clock based on the former radio show format and initially designated as "CamFM", produced in audio and video and presented free of charge on various video portals. Known RBB features and broadcast components were taken over, continued and further developed. In addition, audio publications on current topics are being irregularly published since. KenFM is funded exclusively by viewer's donations.
KenFM characterizes its work as "non-embedded, independent journalism" with a dedication to political activism in order to influence future societal re-organization. Regular clashes with public personalities and established media institutions do occur. Contents and topics of publications incorporate results and insights acquired when monitoring the quality and conduct of news coverage and examining the reliability and neutrality of the established media. Mainstream interpretations of global politics are being exposed to critical comments and the importance to integrate alternative opinions and conclusions into the public discourse is emphasized. Opponents argue that KenFM maintains a sort of pseudo-journalism, that disregards accepted journalistic standards and simply seeks to reinforce a narrow-minded world view.
On 5 April 2012 Ken Jebsen published the comment Zionist racism (latest victim: Günter Grass), in which he critically addresses US and Israel's foreign policies, stating that the Zionist lobby undermines any criticism thereof. Critics again responded quickly, arguing that Ken Jebsen repeatedly failed to follow methodology as he is susceptible to conspiracy theories, making assumptions on the basis of his personal perception, not presenting relevant sources for his claims.
Political scientist Markus Linden labels Ken Jebsen, who he says preaches anti-Americanism under the name KenFM. He argues that KenFM is characterized by "sermonic monologues or long interviews with alternative war reporters, apostates, or marginal politicians and conspiracy theorists." Wolfgang Storz, former chief editor of the Frankfurter Rundschau uses the term "political-journalistic Querfront network (politisch-publizistisches Querfront-Netzwerk)" in a controversial analysis for the Otto Brenner Foundation. Storz identifies KenFM as to be one of the protagonists "of persons and organisations who form a political-journalistic Querfront network, in which traditional Left-Right wing categories do no longer apply. The network's most striking feature is its activism against the elite", the government and the associated media (Systemmedien).
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski argues that criticism has "gone beyond all measures" with respect to the fact that the wider debate on the Holocaust, Antisemitism and related subjects requires restraint and a high degree of decency in Germany. As some authors argue that criticism of Israel's foreign policy is justified and condemn alleged political instrumentation of the Holocaust, others stress the necessity to maintain transparency, common sense and stick to verified facts in debate.
Current program contents:
- The Missing Link - a new program with international guests in English, hosted by Dirk Pohlmann
- Positionen - talk-show, chaired by Ken Jebsen
- Me, Myself and Media - comments on news and Ken Jebsen's self-reflection and replies to critics
- Rebellunion - a program of Pedram Shahyar
- NachdenKen über - political and societal analyses
- Sowohl als auch - a program of Bilbo Calvez
- inTeam - a program of Bilbo Calvez which provides insights into the private lives of the editorial
- KenFM über - an audio program, that publishes written contributions of KenFM's editorial
- KenFM am Set - field work publications
- KenFM im Gespräch - interviews with constantly changing guests on political, historical, cultural and societal topics and events.
- KenFM am Telefon - interviews on short notice, usually with insiders on current topics
Former program contents:
- Presseschlau - with Hans-Günter Meier
- RubriKen - pre-produced posts, where guests of past broadcasts have their say (for example, via Berlin, cinema, television or radio)
- RueckblicKen - a monologue or talk with the guests and editors to the current (political) subjects or historical events
- Kreuzburg - pre-produced article on the current subject
- "PROGRAM INFORMATION - Listen to KenFM online". Listen to KenFM online. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Warbeck's program responsibility for rbb-youth program "Fritz" from - rbb separates from moderator Ken Jebsen". RBB online. November 23, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Unterstütze KenFM! - KenFM ist ein freies Presseportal, eine Plattform, die bewusst das Internet als einziges Verbreitungsmedium nutzt,". KenFM. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Unterstütze KenFM - Diese Demokratie ist gefährdet oder schon in vielen Bereichen abgeschafft". KenFM. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
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- "Leute von Welt". WeltN24 GmbH. April 30, 2001. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- "in den 4 Stunden der Sendung werden skrupellos Politiktalk, Unterhaltung und Popkultur miteinander vermischt". HECKERT EMPIRE. November 7, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Hirnforschung statt Gewinnspiel by HENNING KOBER". die tageszeitung. March 8, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- "P O D C A S T : FRITZ - KENFM, DIE RADIOSHOW MIT KEN JEBSEN". mirPod lequipe. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "KenFM: Kritik eine Bühne gegeben - Damals Ursprünglich wurde seine Show zuerst beim Sender RBB veröffentlicht und dort regelmäßig ausgestrahlt". bsz - Bochumer Stadt- und Studierendenzeitung. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Solidarität mit KenFM!". HECKERT EMPIRE. November 7, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- ""ich looking who has invented the Holocaust as PR "". The Axis of Good. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "KenFM about "I - an anti-Semite.? ? "". Ken Jebsen. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Antisemitismusvorwurf against Fritz presenter Ken Jebsen by Kurt Sagatz". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- ""Was is wrong with Ken FM "". Fritz Radio. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Ken Jebsen remains Moderator Fritz". Fritz Radio. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Moderator Jebsen muss Themen nun absprechen". Berliner Morgenpost. November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Antisemitismusvorwürfe: RBB feuert Moderator Ken Jebsen". SPON. November 24, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Ken Jebsen after his expulsion". Märkische Allgemeine. November 25, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Ken Jebsen does not give up". Berliner Zeitung. January 11, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "KenFM Page info - KenFM - das crowdfinanzierte und nicht-embeddete Politik-Magazin. Unabhängig im Netz seit 2011!". Facebook. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Mahnwache Berlin 16.03.2015 – Rede von Ken Jebsen (KenFM)". uncut-news.ch. March 17, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Ken Jebsen hetzt seine Anwälte auf die Antilopen Gang". Bayerischer Rundfunk. November 22, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "KenFM und der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle". PUBLIKATIVE.ORG. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "KenFM about: Zionist Racism". KenFM. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Nik Afanasyev, Joachim Huber: Ex-RBB Moderator Jebsen Israel wants the final solution for Palestine". Der Tagesspiegel. April 7, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "In the power of Wutbürger and conspiracy theorists". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. February 2, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "All lies". The European. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "RBB widerspricht Studie der Otto-Brenner-Stiftung". horizont.net. July 6, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- "Die Otto-Brenner-Stiftung und ihre Kritiker: wenn Meinungen zu Studien werden - Das Papier wurde scharf kritisiert, teilweise zurecht. Problematisch ist nicht zuletzt der inflationäre Gebrauch des Begriffs "Studie"". MEEDIA GmbH & Co. KG. August 26, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- ""Querfront-Analyse": die Otto-Brenner-Stiftung knöpft sich die Verschwörungstheoretiker von KenFM, Kopp & Co vor". MEEDIA GmbH & Co. KG. August 20, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Üble Angriffe auf Ken Jebsen Von Evelyn Hecht-Galinski". NRhZ-Online - Neue Rheinische Zeitung. April 18, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Wie kann der Journalismus gerettet werden?". Jungle World Nr. 27. July 3, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Kritik an Israel ist legitim - Von Stefan Bornost / leitender Redakteur von marx21". marx21. on Facebook. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Germany's National Debate Over Guilt, the Holocaust, Israel, and Gunter Grass". The Atlantic Monthly Group. April 12, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "wwwKenFMde - Youtube channel". Youtube. Retrieved November 3, 2015.