Do media distort the view of reality

Media analysisMention the origin at Suspect in the media distorted reality

There is growing pressure on the media to disclose the origin of suspects. An analysis shows: Many media follow this - but especially if it is not a question of Germans. The problem: This creates a false impression of reality.

Should the origin of the suspects be stated or not? Before Cologne's New Year's Eve 2015/2016, this question hardly played a role. Since then, more and more voices have been heard accusing the media of deliberately hiding the origins of suspects.

The origin of suspects is playing an increasingly important role

Journalism professor Thomas Hestermann has carried out an analysis for the integration media service: In the reporting of violent crimes, origin is playing an increasingly important role. Two years ago, every sixth TV report mentioned origin, today it is every third. In newspaper articles, the origin is mentioned even more often - in every second article.

Reversal of the situation

In the media reporting, the police's findings are completely reversed, says Thomas Hestermann. According to police crime statistics in 2018, around 69 percent of all suspects in violent crimes were German and around 31 percent were non-German, reports the journalism professor.

"The reporting completely reverses the findings of the police: According to police crime statistics, around 69 percent of all suspects in violent crimes in 2018 were German and around 31 percent were non-German."
Thomas Hestermann, Professor of Journalism

"In current television reports, on the other hand, only about 3 percent of all suspects can be identified as Germans and 28 percent as non-Germans. In newspaper reports, foreigners are even more overrepresented with 41 percent compared to 3 percent German suspects," says journalism professor.

Ultra-relative media criticism on Youtube

Fynn Kröger runs the Ultralativ channel on YouTube, a media-critical channel for everything to do with YouTube and other social media phenomena. The videos are easy to consume, but are not afraid of complex problems in the media world. One topic: "Tiktok and modern censorship".

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