Tuesday, December 6, 2016

ARD and Criticism

The majority of Germans get their dose of news via ARD's 8PM nightly news....a 15-minute segment which takes roughly 20 items and encapsulates them into a 20-to-120 second piece each.

The "Tagesschau" is an odd dynamic to German culture.  If something appears on Tagesschau....it's absolute fact (regarded as such by German society).  If it doesn't appear on Tagesschau....well, it's not important or deemed non-news.

By Saturday morning....if you follow commercial news (newspapers, RTL, etc).....they were reporting the arrest in Freiburg of the guy accused of the murder of Maria L....which had been a big deal down in the southwestern region of Germany for the past month.  The accused?  A immigrant from Afghanistan....17 years old.....coming into Germany in 2015.

The essentials of the case?  Maria L was a 19-year-old student who was raped and killed on 16 October.  DNA evidence was enough to give the cops a chance of solving the case. This case was widely reported across the nation via print-media, on-line media and television media....well, up until they caught the murderer.

The thing is....for all the great hype and talk by journalists who work for ARD/ZDF (tax-payer funded by the monthly media tax)....they avoided the story.  It didn't get reported by ARD's Tagesschau until Monday night.  It's generally perceived by a fair number of Germans that they avoided the story because it is an anti-immigrant type story.  Most remember the 31 December 2015 episode in Koln, where various sexual assaults occurred (well over 500 police reports for that evening), and how ARD/ZDF waited days (almost a week) to finally report what was a large segment of immigrants involved in the sexual assaults.

I read through a couple of pieces....mostly from non-ARD sources (Focus for example, and a local regional paper from the region).....which had some harsh criticism to be dumped on ARD management.

Oddly, the original talk from ARD was that this was just a regional event and they don't always cover regional events.  It was a lousy comment because you can go through a normal news piece and find three or four regional events reported almost nightly.

Lack of trust?  The thing is....you continually see ARD and ZDF "shoot themselves in the foot" over stupid behavioral decisions like this.  News is news.  Unless you work for ARD or ZDF, where they will decide when to bless something to be news.

While people sit around and do all kinds of public chat forums on fake news.....no one seems to want to pull these out into the public forums....discussing the tight control of news.  A growing public perception is that anything that is negative about immigrants or migrants....won't be reported by state-run TV.

This all goes back to my theme of having to read or view forty-odd news sources a day because if you just stick with one or two....you might be getting censored news or some half-fake news piece.

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