Media issues – Germany

  1. I would rate the freedom of press in Germany with 8 out of 10 for similar reasons as the other German participants already mentioned. On one side, we still have quite a diverse media market and a strong constitution, where press freedom is anchored. Media law protects journalists and doesn’t make it easy to judge them for nothing. Personally I never experienced restrictions during my work for radio channels, though I’m aware that freedom of press in several cases could be limited due to economic or other reasons. On the other hand there are still to much happenings where press freedom was limited, such as 2017’s G-20, when journalists lost their accreditation without clear reasons. Furthermore, the uprising right-populism is a danger for press freedom (not only in Germany, but in Europe in gerneal). They whiped up a general sceptic in media, which in my opinion has influence on the ruling parties as well.
  2. Honestly, I don’t know too much about the media system in Moldavia and Ukraine. Despite some Articles about journalist work in Eastern Ukraine and statistics from Reporters without borders my knowledge in this field is quite limited.
    I hope to learn more about media system of both countries and what possibilities journalist have in both countries.
  3. I’m trying to start my day with a general overview about current events. Therefore, I  scan German newspapers like §Süddeutsche”, “taz” from Berlin or “Märkische Oderzeitung” from Frankfurt (Oder). If I have time, I’m trying to check “Tagesschau” (German news service) and BBC online. Tagesschau have a great feature on their website, which allows you to watch the news from 20 years ago. It’s interesting to compare the style of presenting as well as the content.
    I’m listening to podcasts from Deutschlandfunk or other providers, if I’m interested in a specific topic. Regarding to current events in Eastern Europe, I follow some homepages in social Media or the Internet in general like “n-ost” or “Calvert Journal”
    I think the development of civil society and freedom of opinion goes hand in hand.
    E.g. local societies/federations can be a strong voice and opposition against politics.
  4. I prefer traditional media, though I read quite a lot online and follow some blogs on social media channels as well. Probably, because I still grew up with traditional media got used to social media in my youth. Though I see some advantages by social media, e.g. faster communication about current events. People in autocratic societies maybe can spread some news faster on social media, whey they never would be covered in traditional media. On the other hand the enormous number of sources, news (and fake news) in social media, makes it harder for consumers to check what is real and what is fake. Filter bubbles can be a problem then as well. From a readers perspective, for me the biggest problem in times of social media is the comment section. I would get sick, if I read hate speech there everyday.

5. So far I never have fallen for fake news or I wasn’t aware of it. Indeed, journalists have a huge responsibility in spreading fake news. While thinking about this question I thought about the so-called Wulff-Affair. Wulff was the former German President, who retired after allegations of corruption. Despite his mistakes, media coverage from some journalists in this case was quite one-sided, mainly following the coverage of BILD-newspaper. It showed, how media can have the power to ruin a person’s reputation.
In general I have more trust in the media than in particular journalists. If it comes to radio and TV in Germany I would rather follow public than private channels.

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