In the Tagesspiegel there is a problem of objectivity, this is obvious. Objectivity, distance to the object of reporting? No indication. The" Newsblog", which the editors created on the weekend for the fundamental rights demonstrations in the capital, is like a ideological shack. Again and again, the editor Sebastian Leber uses terms such as “corona impoverished”, “corona deniers” or “conspiracy believers"for the citizens who demonstrate against the most serious fundamental rights interventions since the existence of the Republic. The mixing of news and opinion in journalism is getting worse. This cannot continue, says Marcus Klöckner in a thoughtful commentary.
Basically, the difference between message and opinion is simple. The statement:” A motorist drove to a tree " is a message. The statement:" The motorist is stupid, " is an opinion. The statement:" The stupid motorist drove to a tree, " mixes an opinion and a message. Every journalist knows the difference between news and opinion. And probably every non-journalist should understand the examples. The mixing of news and opinion has always been one of the most problematic border crossings in news journalism. The fact that journalists like to mix their own opinions with news is far from a new phenomenon. However, the shamelessness with which media representatives have been trying to give free rein to their worldview for some time, even in seemingly neutral reports, is breathtaking.
At the weekend, the “Newsblog” from the Tagesspiegel on the fundamental rights demonstrations in Berlin offered a good insight into what it looks like when news and opinions are mixed. Basically, it starts with the term “newsblog”. What is a “newsblog”? We should all be familiar with the term “news ticker” as provided by online media. There is an event with great news value – the editorial offices then continuously provide the latest information or the latest news developments. The emphasis is on"news".
Wer soll nach Auffassung dessen, der diese Zusammenstellung von Bildern veröffentlicht, gewählt werden? ... pic.twitter.com/wbgLV08YuL— Christiane Woopen (@CWoopen) July 31, 2021
In the newsblog, i.e. in a “news blog”, the mixing of message and opinion seems to be already created. A “message” is factual, a blog is often colored individually. So the result is something that can be captured linguistically as a" news opinion". “News opinion”? What’s that supposed to be? Well, that which basically now runs through large parts of journalism. Even if news articles seem so neutral, there is at some point a philosophical element focused on manipulation. The Tagesspiegel “Newsblog” last weekend has consistently implemented this principle. On the one hand, the intention seems to be to “inform” the readers, i.e. the editors focus on the news content with regard to the demo events. At the same time, however, worldview, ideology and opinion are obviously also in the foreground.
From a news point of view, the editors of the Tagesspiegel should write behind the ears: A protester is a protester is a protester. And again: Demonstrators are demonstrators are demonstrators. Why?
Well, because a demonstrator is a demonstrator and the demonstrators are demonstrators and not, for example,“idiots”. As already mentioned: The motorist drove to the tree and not, the stupid motorist drove to the tree. Again: News journalism.
But in the Tagesspiegel Newsblog, the editor Sebastian Leber, among others, makes the protesters too
- Corona treatment
- Conspiracy believers
This is how it works when journalism is replaced by worldview. The use of highly manipulative, derogatory and, in generality, even incorrect terms serves to “journalistically” capture the demonstrators – obviously with the full backing of those responsible in the editor-in-chief.
It has long been known that the demonstrators, who protest against the corona measures, among other things, could hardly be more heterogeneous. Among them there may be people who deny, if that is what you want as a serious journalist. But lumping together protesters under stigmatizing terms is unbearable from a journalistic point of view. Over these terms runs what can only be described as discourse contamination.
If you, as a journalist, absolutely want to confront people and citizens in a socially and politically highly complex situation through a language that is full of disdain, please write a comment. The “Newsblog” of the Tagesspiegel from the weekend is a sad example of a “journalism” that does not deserve this name. Regardless of the terms mentioned, the news blog glows with subjectivity. You can literally notice in every fiber of the posts how much antipathy editors encounter the protesters. The partisanship then culminates in an entry dated August 2. It says under the heading: “Are demo bans enough?":
“Lateral thinkers run through Berlin despite the ban on their demonstrations, they overrun police chains, officials and journalists are attacked. Sunday shows once again, which aggressions are concentrated in the scene of corona deniers.”
Ingo Salmen does not address the aggressive behavior of parts of the police at this point, such as pictures that show how a police officer apparently acts harshly against a boy. And that even Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur, has now spoken because of the action of the Berlin police: no problem. Why mention this in a “newsblog”? Anyway: The Tagesspiegel asks in all seriousness whether demo bans are sufficient? You can not think up this in a dream. Perhaps a basic course in democracy would be appropriate (“Understanding and comprehending democracy”)?
After the Tagesspiegel has already delivered a “report” in terms of #allesdichtmachen, which is still very reserved as a” journalistic revelation oath", one could have assumed that there can only be one announcement from the publisher and editor: Less worldview, instead more objectivity and solid journalism.
But far from it: In the online forum of the venerable Blatt under an article about the singer Nena can be found incitement and a linguistic carnage, in the newsblog are generally demonstrating corona impoverishment, deniers and anyway something with “conspiracy”.
No, it can’t go on like this. Unless the Tagesspiegel wants to be perceived only as an ideological battle paper. Then: please keep it up! So that as many readers as possible who are interested in serious journalism turn their backs on the paper.