Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ukraine Reporting in Germany

Over the past month in Germany....there's been an odd occurrence going on with the news media (both state-run and commercial).  Since January....most German media devices (state-run TV news, state-run radio news, left wing newspapers, centralist newspapers and right wing newspapers).....have taken the side of Ukraine and gone anti-Russia on most all of their stories.  Strangely enough, it got noticed, and Germans have openly complained the only way possible....writing letters to the media devices.

The number of letters?  An awful lot.  It's to the point that the bosses and ombudsmen of the journalists....are starting to ask about the slant, and try to grasp how they came to do a anti-Russia story in the first place.

Journalism in Germany prior to 1914....was a difficult task.  You could report floods, train wrecks, speeches by political figures, and poems.  You could not report anything really controversial of the Kaiser, the Chancellor, or the local government (especially your town's mayor, or your state's governor).  As revolutionary ideas came up at the end of the 1800s....journalists found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place on reporting public frustration on work hours or work conditions, or taxation.

After World War I.....some loosening of the journalistic rules occurred....then by the mid 1930s....everything reversed back to the old standards....don't disrespect the government or it's agenda.....compliments of the Nazis.

After World War II....newspapers went into a bold new direction.  Around the nation.....some papers developed close ties to unions....some with certain political parties....and some took to simple raw journalism with page three booby-shots (BILD).

By the 1950s....TV journalism was now a major topic.....with some control mounted by an appointed board.

What you can say over the past fifty years of German journalism....is that the intellectual side of society have run reporting.  If the political folks were unhappy....they simply talked of lessening the tax revenue, and decreasing the budget.  That usually got enough attention to keep things focused.

This anti-Russian slant?  With live nightly interviews and finger-pointing going on....I'm not sure who felt it was necessary to slam the Russians.  The believability factor?  Well....as the letters of complaint have surfaced....the public isn't buying into the story.  Yeah.....it is an odd thing.  Usually.....you don't get negative views like this.

Some Fox News lurking out there?  Well....NO.  That's the thing. Germans have sat down.....read the original coverage....then sat and read more over Ukrainian history and the ethnic situation.  The German slant isn't being bought.

A change now?  I'm guessing that the news journalists will take the right step.....simply not reporting much of anything on the Ukraine problem, and going back to climate change, the economy, complaints over pensions and taxes, and autobahn accidents.  The safe areas....where no one really pays any attention.

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