What are the best technology talk shows

ZAPP dossier media policy

Status: 02.12.2016 09:50 a.m. | archive
by Patrick Gensing & Andrej Reisin
Welcome talk show guest: Vera Lengsfeld.

Yesterday evening at "Maischberger" in the first: The topic of "Lies press - can journalists still be trusted?" Was discussed. Among others, the former CDU member Vera Lengsfeld sits in the discussion group, who starts with the assertion that, according to a recent study by the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, three quarters of people no longer trust the media - a figure that they consider to be "very realistic "hold.

The problem: the claim is wrong. In the corresponding study, 75 percent of those questioned actually considered public television to be credible, and daily newspapers (73%) and public radio (68%) were hardly rated worse. Overall, most of the media were found to be credible by a majority, only tabloids found only 13 percent of those surveyed to be credible.

Unsubstantiated prime-time claims

It is not the first time that Lengsfeld has spread untruths. That makes her a very special "expert" on the subject of "lying press" - but she was invited by the editorial team. Sandra Maischberger took up the false premise that three quarters of the population were losing confidence and asked what could be done about it without Lengsfeld correcting it. Shortly afterwards, when Lengsfeld claimed that, according to "countless studies", "80 percent" of all journalists were "left-green", she did not have to substantiate her claims in any way. Their references to alleged false reports in the "Stern" are not tenable either - the "Stern" is therefore now examining legal action against Lengsfeld.

Another guest in the group was Joachim Radke - Berlin bus driver, Pegida sympathizer and AfD member. He spoke of "synchronized" media, which he compared with the GDR state media - and recommended a wild mix of "Roland Tichy" via the "Axis of the Good", "Junge Freiheit" and "Tilo" as an alternative to the established media Young". Although he didn't know the answer to factual questions, for example who controls the media, he became the hero of the evening on Twitter - celebrated by a three-digit number of tweets.

Do talk shows refine the messages of populists?

AfD politician Alexander Gauland explained to "Anne Will" how his Boateng statement that nobody would want him as a neighbor was meant.

Only last week had scientists criticized the role of the media in spreading resentment. Since 2002 the researchers in the annual study "Split Center" on behalf of the SPD-affiliated Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung deal with the spread of right-wing extremist attitudes in Germany. Even serious media practice "not infrequently an uncritical, unreflective adoption and transmission of threat rhetoric through the use of dramatic images and terminology". The viewer reached "in prime time, misanthropic and anti-democratic messages, which he ennobled and approved by the serious political debates, appear to be obviously thinkable, sayable and feasible".

An allegation that is clearly addressed in particular to ARD and ZDF. Because in the public broadcasters, among other things, with "Anne Will", "Hart aber fair", "Maischberger" and "Maybrit Illner", several formats can be found on the best slots that define themselves as political talk shows - and that, so the allegation who refine messages from populists. When the study was presented, co-author Beate Küpper criticized: "We shouldn't give the loud minority of xenophobes so much space in social debates, but pay more attention to the democratically-minded majority." When asked by ZAPP, Juliane von Schwerin, editor of "Anne Will", wrote that the editorial team had dealt with the study and that Beate Küpper had already been asked for one of the next programs.

And the talk show critics greet you every day

The accusation that the talk shows contribute little to a constructive debate, but instead look at quota rioting, is not new. For years, media scientists and journalists have repeatedly complained that TV suitability and the show effect are more important when selecting guests than their content-related competence. Media journalist Stefan Niggemeier, for example, repeatedly complains about the level of the programs - yesterday too:

Every now and then those responsible answer that they would take the criticism seriously. For example, the then ARD editor-in-chief Thomas Baumann announced in 2011 that "in future it will have to be very critically examined whether a topic justifies being dealt with in different programs from different perspectives".

A stage for the AfD every two days

But five years later it doesn't seem to be far off: Around the state elections in three federal states on March 13, 2016, a total of seven (!) Programs dealt with "Merkel's choice of fate", the "anger election", the "accounting with." the Chancellor "or the" settlement with Merkel's refugee policy ". Within ten days, the AfD was allowed to present its theses "at prime time" on public radio six times.

An evaluation of the leading political talk formats requested by ZAPP shows the following picture: In a total of 124 editions of "Anne Will", "Hart aber fair", "Maischberger" and "Maybrit Illner" (until November 23, 2016), 71 CDU members sat Representatives, 28 of the CSU, 49 of the SPD, 30 Greens, 32 of the Left, 11 of the FDP and 22 of the AfD.

What is striking is the dominance of the Union, which makes up 40 percent of all politicians on talk shows. At "Maybrit Illner" on ZDF there were as many guests from the ranks of the CDU / CSU (32) as there were programs at all (32) - and thus more than from the SPD, Greens, Left and FDP combined (30). But there are also notable differences between the individual formats: While "Anne Will" had only four AfD guests in 2016 (the last time in June), representatives of right-wing populists had sat seven times at "Maischberger". There are also numerous non-partisan populists such as Thilo Sarrazin, Rainer Wendt or Vera Lengsfeld.

Upgrading radical positions through TV presence

Ralf Melzer, editor of the new "Mitte Study" by the Ebert Foundation, thinks this is questionable: "It's bad enough when conspiracy theories and anti-democratic positions are circulating on the internet The stage offers a podium. Professional media should not chase after such positions, but should seriously discuss where they come from - and what that means for society. "

AfD: emotions instead of facts

The AfD relies on feelings instead of facts, it stirs up fear of foreigners and uses Nazi vocabulary - and with success. Many people succumb to the post-factual worldview. 6 min

But the editorial offices often prefer to let the populists speak for themselves. Although they always encounter a counterpart there, in the end the impression of an equal kaleidoscope of opinions that are irreconcilably opposed is created.

Re-launch the talk show debate

The media scientist Lutz Hachmeister already warned in June that in the USA "talk shows serve the media radicalization of viewpoints and the confirmation of prejudices". In Germany, the "talk show overkill on public television" upgraded the AfD: "In these talk shows you get the impression that there are actually two parties - the bourgeois mainstream and the opposed AfD," said Hachmeister in an interview with the "taz" ".

The linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch says that this also pushes the boundaries on the linguistic level: "A great danger is that the media will be involved in a phenomenon that is being deliberately pursued by the political actors, especially on the far-right to make oneself complicit in a new usage of the language. "

The criticism of the political talk shows is not new, but it is not invalid. On the contrary: the rise of authoritarian and populist movements raises numerous questions about the role and function of the media. This also includes an open debate about the political talk formats on ARD and ZDF. Outside of the broadcasters, this is already widely used. The programs should do the same - and not just internally, but publicly. For example, on TV at prime time.

Editor's note: We misspelled Maybrit Illner in an earlier version - we have now improved that.


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ZAPP | 11/23/2016 | 11:20 pm