Millions of viewers have to get used to it – at least a little. Claus Kleber has resigned after almost 20 years as the main presenter of the ZDF news program “heute journal”. His successor is journalist Christian Sievers.

But many have known him for a long time: he has been a ZDF news anchor for years and is a well-known face of the station. On Monday (10:00 p.m., 9:45 p.m.), the 52-year-old will start as the main presenter of the much-loved news program, alternating with Marietta Slomka.

New rhythm of life

Before starting, Sievers told the German News Agency: “Something is changing in your head. It’s a new rhythm of life that I have to adapt to. ”Almost every two weeks of the year, we devote ourselves entirely to this program. Alone when it comes to working hours. His predecessor, Kleber , had a decisive influence on the program, “and, of course, this task is still a huge journalistic challenge”.

Sievers, who was born in Offenbach, Hesse, has worked for public broadcasters for decades, mostly for ZDF. The journalist, who studied law, has held various positions there since the end of the 1990s. Including as moderator and editor of the programs “heute” and “heute midi”. Also as moderator, editor and reporter for “ZDF Morning Magazine” in Berlin. Sievers also presented projections and analysis for election platforms.

In duet with Hanna Zimmermann

Prior to being seen as the host of the 7 p.m. “Today” show, the second in fall 2014 until recently, he temporarily ran the ZDF foreign studio in Tel Aviv and was a correspondent for Middle East. Since 2013, he also occasionally hosts the “heute journal”. Now it is becoming a staple in the format. In 2021, an average of 4.15 million people watched the show. Sievers will form a new duo with Hanna Zimmermann, who will co-present the news blocks. The journalist, born in 1988, has so far moderated the late edition of the news on ZDF.

Asked about the future and the impulses for ‘heute journal’, Sievers said: ‘First of all,’ heute journal ‘does a lot of good. It’s a great team doing a high precision program – new every night. He added that there were two points on which he would like to get more involved, because it had suffered a bit during the pandemic: “First, the element of surprise. I think we can be even more surprising. “In presenting the news, you could in some places take an unconventional route,” sometimes with the blink of an eye. “

The 52-year-old also mentioned this: “As a 7pm presenter on ZDF, I have always had the opportunity to go out and report myself. I would like to continue and reinforce that in ‘heute journal Sievers said: “I have always been a journalist and always will be so at heart.” He thinks it is very important for a moderator to know from personal experience what he is talking about. “As a correspondent. in the Middle East, I have noticed time and again that when you talk about the situation in Gaza, for example, it makes a difference that you have seen for yourself how small this region is and how – spatially. – everything is connected. “

How to handle reviews

During the pandemic, public service broadcasting enjoys increasing popularity and the number of users has increased, while at the same time, one can read scathing criticism and hatred on social media. During protests and unexpected demonstrations by opponents of the corona vaccination, the media and journalists are concentrated. How to find something in common? Sievers said: “99.9% of the people who talk to me in the supermarket or on the train are incredibly kind and open. That’s not to say they don’t criticize too. “Many thanked for the work.” People seem to feel that journalism is under more pressure right now. There is a large majority who trust us in what we do. “

The reporter added, “Then there are people who do something that is the greatest insult to a reporter and reporter. Namely, say: “You are lying. It’s like saying to the baker, “You can’t handle the flour. This is the ultimate approach. “In the case of these people, if you talk to them, he noticed that most of them hadn’t even watched the programs.” I find few people chanting the song. false press “at all levels and who can say what they would actually use to solve this problem.”

Sievers concluded: “What we can really do, and this is my wish and my idea for the future: to report every day as well, as professionally and perfectly as possible – to make it as big as possible To convince a part of the people. “(dpa)