Refugees: were German media too uncritical?
A study by the Otto-Brenner Foundation, the scientific foundation of German trade union IG Metall, points to "considerable deficits" in the reporting of German media when refugee arrivals in the country were peaking in 2015 and 2016. According to the study journalists failed to stick to the role of neutral observer and disregarded the worries and fears of the German public. The media of other countries agree and examine the consequences.
Paternalism is a poor advisor
The opponents of "We can do it", Merkel's slogan in the refugee crisis, were hardly allowed to speak, De Volkskrant complains:
“It was only after 'Cologne' that the debate on immigration and integration really ignited. It could no longer be denied that refugees didn't in principle hold liberal views. The notion that the German press collectively failed, as [media scientist] Michael Haller concludes, or that it spreads lies, as the right-wing populists claim, is nonsense. But nor is it entirely unbiased. The fear of 'playing into the hands of the far right' has historic roots. But paternalism is a poor advisor for professional journalism.”
Propaganda for Merkel
The German media's distorted reporting is having an impact on all Europe, e-vestnik surmises:
“By granting Merkel their uncritical support they have given her and society as a whole a false image of reality. With the result that Merkel felt her refugee policy had been validated even though many European politicians criticise it. Blinded by this distortion, Merkel even tried to force all EU states to take in refugees, causing tensions within the Union and contributing to the outcome of the Brexit referendum.”