And still are….
Damning study: ‘German Main Stream Media biased and uncritical during migrant crisis’
In what way did digital media report on the countless events from the spring of 2015 to the spring to 2016? How did the three leading papers comment on the most important theme of the year? How can their commentary be analysed? And the local and regional press? How did they deal with the theme of “Willkomsenskultur” (the perceived need for welcoming refugees)?
These are a few of the questions asked in an ambitious study by the Otto Brenner Stiftung, the academic Bureau of the German metalworkers’ trade union. To find answers to these and other questions, the Foundation studied about 35.000 articles and subjected them to an array of analytical questions. The findings, to be officially presented on Monday, can be found in an impressive report (PDF).
According to an article in Zeit Online, the report can be summarised by saying that Germany has suffered a media power-outage, which negatively impacted society. Not only did the ‘mainstream media’ rally behind Angela Merkel’s refugee-policy, it accepted solutions by the political elite without criticism. The media even employed a “euphemistic-persuasive form of speech” with the intent of spreading the idea of ‘Willkomenskultur’. Those who did not toe the line taken by the government, were deemed suspect of xenophobia in the eyes of a lot of journalists.