No, the journalists in the “media” are not forced at gunpoint to write the truth. For example, during the catastrophic wave of Russia-bashing after the return of Crimea. Journalists usually know what can be expected of them without a clear statement: opinion matter within certain limits of thought. The freedom of the press in this country is largely the freedom of authors to express the opinion of media entrepreneurs. These often represent the interests of their own salary group, or are transformed with the prevailing policy through various circles. For embedded journalists, participation certainly pays off. They waving money, posting, a sense of importance, illustrious interview partners from the circles of the contracting parties. In this game, there are two losers: the truth and democracy.
What do we know about our society, indeed about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media. ( … ) On the other hand, we know so much about the mass media that we cannot trust these sources. * Niklas Luhmann
For years, the spectrum of opinion in the news and the political magazines of television has been shrinking and narrowing. This is true for all mass media. The existentially important issues of Foreign and security policy, but also fundamental questions for the design of the economy, Finance and world trade, as well as to the distribution of social wealth, that are primarily affected.
Instead of Information about different points of view and the presentation of alternative solutions, there is increasingly a homogenous message stream, a media Mainstream. This is geared to the existing political power relations and their interests and seems in many cases only to be confirmed by each other. He takes over the statements of so-called press offices, PR agencies or leading media in part verbatim and can hardly be impressed even by the criticism presented.
Such Mainstream journalism is characterised by the fact that it often weights, tends, or even deliberately suppresses news of political events in a certain way if they do not correspond to a preferred pattern of interpretation or the desired opinion.
In addition, however, there are also time and again well-researched and very differentiated judging contributions.
So “seems to be the essence of the main streams in a democratic media society: critical perspectives and differing opinions happen once, but no influence on the result reporting and the day-to-day continuing narrative of the events in the main news broadcasts and major Newspapers have”.
However, those who insist as a Journalist on inconvenient truths or continue to question accepted beliefs can then quickly be cut off from important sources and “from informal information flows” and thus put his professional career at risk.
A deeper journalistic criticism of the Mainstream comes after all not without reason almost without exception from people who are not in a dependent employment relationship with one of the major media houses.
As a fixed-term or fixed-term Journalist, everyone is, after all, only one wage-earner and thus dependent on his employer just as economically as other employees are. As a freelance Journalist, one is again dependent on the assignments and fees to be awarded.
Freedom of the press and tendency protection
According to the Basic Law, the freedom of the press in Germany is constitutionally protected and secured. But there is also internal freedom of the press, the freedom and independence of the people working in the editorial offices, which is far less talked about. It is precisely this that is fundamentally challenged by the existence and application of the so-called trend protection paragraph.
The protection of the tendency arises from the private-sector right of an owner, in addition to the economic and the general direction of the medium issued by him himself.
In terms of media law, this means that every publisher can freely determine the content and political direction of his company. In addition, he can oblige editors and journalists employed by him to comply with certain editorial requirements and to use a desired political view and form of expression.
In principle and in accordance with the law, journalists can report freely, but “the means and resources to use this freedom are subject to harsh institutional restrictions”.
In an article by the national weekly Die Zeit on the Labour Court action of the editor of another large German newspaper, which had criticised “the news reporting of her newspaper as not balanced”, it was stated:
What and how it is reported, decides in editorial offices in case of dispute, but the editor or the editor-in-chief, that allows you the tendency protection. The press code does not demand that a newspaper should report in a balanced manner.
It is therefore hardly possible to speak of an internal freedom of the press. In addition, under such circumstances it is easily possible that “publishers and editors-in-chief can also bend, Shorten, twist, distort or suppress accurate and well-researched reports and comments”.
For example, the business journalist Harald Schumann, who worked for years at the news magazine Der Spiegel, says that it is common in the media business, when one “writes the powerful after the mouth, one is more likely to be invited, then one gets the better moderation and presentation offers, the higher fees. One belongs to it”.
It is therefore not surprising that journalists have already accepted the questionable framework “in which’ free reporting ‘is currently taking place”, because “publishers, media managers, advertising companies and investors decide on the basic things and whether they consider the freedom exercised by journalists to be acceptable in individual cases. You select the staff and cancel. You can promote careers or pressure. (…) No censorship far and wide. The effect, however, is the same”.
Ultimately, the new-style needs “to the editor (…) to tell anyone what to do and what he has”, he now knows where the border posts, exactly, “within which he can write what he wants”.
For the author, and media critic Walter van Rossum this “based on the prevailing political interests and programs,” then the actual “cardinal sin of real journalism”.
In the editorial offices of the public media, however, the trend protection does not apply. In addition, special political preferences or purely economic considerations in the journalistic work of these media must explicitly not play a role.
So it is still to this day also to be regarded as a great achievement, “that after the liberation from Nazi fascism the radio at that time was explicitly neither transferred to the state nor to the capital”, but that he got a democratic-pluralist program mandate, “which has to take into account all social groups and not to privilege”.
Public service media have, therefore, in their reporting and in their information broadcasts “independently and objectively”, to appear in “the free individual and public formation of opinion” and “to take into account in the fulfilment of its mandate, the principles of objectivity and impartiality of reporting, plurality of opinion and the balance of their offers”.
However, here in particular, in fulfilling its central social mission, there have recently been serious changes in the public media, which are reflected in a number of unbalanced and often biased contributions to foreign policy and the international role of NATO.
The highlight here was the coverage of the Ukrainian crisis, which with its “Russia-Bashing in a continuous loop on almost all public-law channels and Genres, up into cultural and sports programs” rightly came across numerous protests and was increasingly recognized as either party or as Propaganda.
For this reason, it must be stressed that Public Service Broadcasting, which is financed mainly from the compulsory contributions of private households, “returns to its original mission, without manipulating the public, without omissions of important information, without friend-enemy schemes, without Propaganda and without Klamauk from the moth box”.
Double standards in reporting
Because for Mainstream media it is often clear from the outset Who is the good and who is the bad in international politics, double Standards are applied in important political events. So people are in the coverage of this media “rights violations (…) is not equal to violations of human rights” and “war crime equal to war crimes — their Severity and scandal gestation depends on who commits them”.
Who fights on the side of the good, " is freedom fighter. In the fight against Terror, because he is an unserviceable, he is also allowed to use illegal means. Anti-Terror methods are used by their purpose to good methods, while the means of evil can be only evil means”. It is therefore “always important to pay close attention to who kills, is killed or simply died in reporting”.
Thus, the despots of this world can still expect political and media indulgence if they show a serious and lasting willingness to promote or at least not to touch the political and economic interests of the leading countries of the West.
Even military forces who came to power through a bloody coup against an elected government or tried to do so without success are not excluded.
However, arrogance and the conscious application of double Standards, especially in dealing with non-European countries, are not a new phenomenon in international relations, but have a long cultural Tradition, since they have always been one of the values of Western foreign policy.
Since the Gulf War, the victims of their own warfare have hardly been shown, although the scope and intensity of military interventions abroad are increasing. On the other hand, it is impressively demonstrated how perfect and “clean” modern war technology can now be applied. As in a computer game, the projectiles land accurately in any enemy installations or buildings. However, what is happening to the people who are in these buildings is strictly hidden. Too great would be the power of the images and too negative their influence on the claimed need as well as on the intended acceptance of these military combat operations.
Linguistic preparation of messages: Wording and Framing
The language has an immense influence on the listeners ' perceptions and has a direct impact on their actions and social behaviour. It “determines how we perceive our environment and other people, and with what ease information and facts are registered by our brain”.
How the recipients record a message or Information disseminated by the media, not least the so-called Wording, the special choice of words, the editorial predetermined linguistic framework, the Framing decides.
The responsible editors of the major media groups are of course well aware of the respective language regulations of their house. They know exactly who in their reporting “has to be considered good and who is considered evil”, because “the good determines or explains, the evil claims, and who threatens and claims, thus immediately becomes known as the evil”.
Economic and political sanctions, which are intended to cause the opposite party as sensitive as possible, are “issued as warnings, which can reach to the hunger blockade, provided that we impose them in good ways”.
After the words of the leading media and the distribution of their own roles, there are often different terms for the same situation, for example the brave escape assistants or the criminal smugglers.
In the Syria war, it is always only the Russians, or the government forces, with their aircraft enemy positions, or sometimes even civilian objects, bombing and civilian deaths in. Nato, on the other hand, is only flying operations, and once it becomes known that the precision weapons did not hit so precisely, then these are unfortunate incidents, collateral damage, which were not intended and, of course, are investigated with great care.
The use of language in the sense of the concept of New speech, which is coined by George Orwell, is then reminded, if even in a state document, instead of war, of a robust peace enforcement is spoken.
A particular Framing is usually associated with the language regulation and choice of words. This is understood as the preparation and, in some cases, the evaluation of information to be transmitted, the deliberate setting of a linguistic interpretation or interpretation framework (Frame).
The message transmitters have an active influence on how the recipients receive a particular message or what they should think about a specific situation. Apparently objectively transmitted information is in fact already commenting on interests, without clearly marking it as a subjective expression of opinion or as an editorial comment, which would be absolutely necessary.
Such Frames are " always selective. You highlight certain facts and realities and let others fall under the table”. Important social and political conditions are thus, from a very specific world view, at the same time arranged and evaluated accordingly.
However, if certain patterns of thought and frames of interpretation (Frames) of events or facts have first been determined in the mind, the information so influenced hardly recognize and reject these often quickly, since they no longer fit into this pattern or into this frame.
It is therefore becoming increasingly important to constantly challenge the messages transmitted and, above all, to obtain comprehensive information, for example in the alternative media. In particular, the use of the internet offers everyone the opportunity to compare the divergent views and perspectives that are less and less prevalent in the Mainstream media and to form their own, well-founded opinion about what is happening in the world.
However, the fact that in many cases the time and the necessary interest are lacking in this respect, and many then leave their own opinion to the main news of the leading media, is not least a reason for the fact that, despite increasing criticism, nothing will change in principle as soon as possible.
Suppression of unwanted topics
A state censorship authority, deliberately withheld certain information from the public, is not known in Germany. Nevertheless, time and again it succeeds, unpleasant topics as well as the people who deal with these, almost completely keep out of the major media and sometimes also discredit. One example of this is the continued suppression of the US Army and its allies in the former and present war zones of reporting on the consequences of the use of uranium munitions.
Finally, the plenary of the UN General Assembly adopted “on 5. December 2016 a new Resolution on uranium weapons with 151-to-4 votes, with 28 abstentions (Res. 71/70)”. This time Germany, which had supported the resolutions to Ban these weapons by the year 2014, abstained.
Since 2007,this has been the sixth Resolution on this issue. In the ongoing “concerns of affected States, health experts and civil society in relation to potential health risks” of DU munitions is highlighted.
However, the topic of uranium munitions has almost completely disappeared in the large media for several years. The media have increasingly managed to keep the whole issue out of the public debate, although this ammunition has been used and still is being used.
Some of the political and military leaders should be particularly interested in the fact that no further reports on the use and health effects of these weapons are available to the public. At least the leading media seem to accept and follow this almost without exception.
But it is probably mainly the images of the victims, also when they are dying children or deformities in newborns, which should not be published. Obviously, they contradict the high moral standards that they themselves claim, as well as the Illusion of the existence and functioning of a Western community of values, this whole talk of a worldwide, unselfish commitment to humanity and respect for human dignity.
Media as voices of Power
In a critical network analysis, the media scientist Uwe Krüger looked at the question years ago, “whether there is a connection between a personal proximity of German leading media to elites from politics and business and their reporting”. In his research, Krüger noted that leading editors of large German media were in the period “the years 2007 to 2009 outside their direct journalistic duties associated with various political and economic elites”.
This was clearly demonstrated in the corresponding “contact potentials”, “conveyed by background circles, foundations, Think Tanks, Policy Discussion Groups or non-public conferences”.
Krüger has specifically investigated and demonstrated “the involvement of four foreign policy - leading editors (…) in foreign and security policy structures with reference to the federal government, Nato and the USA”. In their articles, these editors hardly leave the framework of the discourse customary for Nato - and US - related networks. In some cases, the contributions contained” elements of Propaganda”; a discussion of these positions as well as objections and criticism was not held. For this purpose, the modern mass media are more and more inclined to be “votes of power”, and to promote their views and decisions in the population in order to obtain the necessary consent.
The influence of mainstream media is expected to increase even further. At best, one can only guess how the existing information will be “screened, weighted, sharpened, dyed and modeled” in the future.
The growing influence of these media is also growing “the need to understand the rules under which they select topics and how they report about them. If we fail to do so, we may soon be guided by unknown powers like blind people through the landscapes of the political. In any case, it is already the case that we have to constantly carry out meticulous research on all possible channels, if we want to have the Chance at all, to check medially transmitted descriptions. Autonomy looks different”.