Criticism has come after the long weekend in Germany, with several terrorist acts accomplished and the various news networks....state-run and commercial....covered these in various ways.
First, I will say, from my own view....the commercial networks (N-TV and N-24) did a better job. RTL News on Monday night....did a great job in summing up everything.
Second, the state-run news from ZDF and ARD showed a limited amount of video from the scene, and simply repeated what the police spokesperson basically said.....with little else.
What has come over the last day or two....are complaints from the general public.
Some Germans are very unhappy that real video of shooting was shown on the commercial networks. Their feeling is that sensationalized the news.
Some Germans are disturbed at the amount of speculation that was allowed to feed into the news....mostly from the commercial networks.
Some Germans just wanted the simple facts....no big four-star story.
One of the things that I've come to notice over the years of viewing state-run news in Germany is that they package everything into a simplified story. There's a short video shown....twelve lines max of information....bit-size, as you might say. Maybe a map with just a city, maybe a river, and the outline of the state or country.
If you ask me....the bulk of German society got used to plain menu selection of the news. But then you have to ask yourself.....why did they flip away from the state-run news and watch it via the commercial news networks instead? Were they like me.....feeling like the state-run news service was marginally telling you much of anything?
I would make five observations about Germans and news delivery:
1. If this story is complicated and requires more than five minutes to tell the whole thing, then it needs to be spoon-fed process, with a story-teller reporter instead of the typical journalist.
2. If there is a slant to the story.....the network has to stick to the slant and not change this later with an update saying "sorry, we led you to a deceitful conclusion which we were wrong to do".
3. Public chat forums on state-run are for getting public persuasion to go in a certain way. That comes later after the nightly news. This is where you can focus five guests on getting things leading the public to believe a particular version of the story.
4. Use of comical photos of various world leaders will be used on a frequent basis with state-run TV news. The commercial network news groups rarely if ever, do something that immature.
5. It's rare that anyone from the university or foundation systems ever look at public consumption of the news and how they get their daily news. It would be interesting but I think they don't really want to spill the beans that fewer than 20-percent of the public watches state-run news (my speculation).