Among many other major media, Der Spiegel is currently reporting on a report by the East StratCom Task Force of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Under the title “EU vs Disinfo”, the report states:
As already mentioned, among the European Member States, Germany is the main target of Russian disinformation efforts. The state broadcasters RT and Sputnik have ambitious plans in Germany, and the Russian state is increasing the budget allocations to RT / Sputnik holding with over 550 million euros for the next four years.
Russia and the opinion-making of the EU
The quote also echoes the current campaign against the Russian broadcaster RT DE, which publishes in Germany. More on this campaign will follow in the text below. First the report of the EEAS and the article that the" Spiegel " has made of it. The EEAS claims, for example, that " the EU has analysed that Russian media have spread fake news about Germany more than 700 times since 2015. Germany is thus at the top of all European countries". Self-reports about the “East StratCom Task Force” can be found here. Thomas Röper discussed the EEAS report in detail in this article. His conclusion is that the report is" not an evaluation, but an anti-Russian article of the EU authority":
But since your mission is to find Russian fake news, you will be very creative. As sources for Russian fake news, they list Internet portals, some of which are not even Russian. But also the Russian Internet portals such as Newsfront, which you like to call, are not state media. They are bloggers. This would be like the Russian government selling articles from the Rubikon or the reflection pages as a fake news campaign of the German government.
Together against RT: Media, DJV, Commerzbank
Parallel to this questionable EU initiative, a campaign is underway in Germany against the Russian-funded broadcaster RT DE: Commerzbank recently announced that it would end its cooperation with the broadcaster and the media agency “Ruptly”. The German Journalists ' Association published an infamous article on RT DE, which Albrecht Müller commented as follows:
In this article by the press officer of the German journalists association DJV you can see how run down this association is already. No free critical voice, instead built into Western propaganda and the enemy image to be observed.
Was soll das sein @DJVde? Wer betreibt jetzt Propaganda Ihr Honks! @derspiegel @spiegelonline hat überhaupt nichts ans Licht gebracht und RT hat entsprechend geantwortet! Ich würde mich mal an die eigene Nase fassen, Goebbels Schnauze! https://t.co/jfqSdKfQUW— Silvio Siefke (@SilvioSiefke) March 5, 2021
In addition, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” recently criticized that RT employees ask too critically in the federal press conference.
Only shortly afterwards the “Spiegel” had followed, followed by Bild which immediately reinvents a spy thriller. RT has announced legal action against Bild. There is also speculation about the motives for the current campaign :
It is no secret that RT DE is expanding and will soon put a TV station into operation. This announcement apparently called competitors on the plan, who want to prevent this. Because if there is one thing that must not exist, it is an independent broadcaster of Russian origin in Germany.
Counterpoint to anti-Russian opinion-making?
As a current example of German media opinion-making against Russia, reference should be made here to an article by n-tv: Russia is “the enemy”, it is stated here without hesitation. To assess the important role that RT plays in the German media landscape as a counterweight to such infamous contributions, one can summarize as follows:
As a contrast to the current incendiary media incitement against Russia, RT is an important counterpoint to the propagandistic unity of large German media on the subject. This does not mean, of course, that RT must or should be the only source of information. In addition, the financing by Russia and a corresponding state of interest is not disguised. Media consumers can therefore better assess the interests pursued by RT articles than the interests pursued, for example, by the Springer group, which claims an untenable ‘independence’.
The anti-Russian propaganda described here must be repelled: for Germany there is no alternative to a peaceful coexistence with Russia. Whoever works against it works against our interests. Of course, such a commitment to peaceful coexistence with Russia does not automatically accept Russia’s domestic or foreign policy deficits.
In order to clarify the alleged motives for the campaigns against Russia and RT described here, the infamous video of George Friedman, director of the US thinktank STRATFOR, should be pointed out once again. A central goal of US foreign policy in recent decades has therefore been to prevent Germany and Russia from coming together.
The whole article reveals an understanding of" freedom of the press " that leaves you stunned. Finally, however, one sees what it boils down to, the exclusion of critical voices, probably so that one’s own adapted role does not seem quite so pathetic.