Germans Wrote a Record Number of Complaints About the Media in 2020
OREANDA-NEWS. The German Press Council received the highest number of complaints about media publications in 2020 since the organization was founded in 1956. According to the annual report of the council, published on Tuesday, February 23, readers sent 4,085 complaints to the organization (in 2019 — 2,175). Most of the complaints came from individuals, council spokeswoman Sascha Borowski said.
The largest number of reader's complaints (382) was caused by a comment in the newspaper «Taz», which criticized the activities of the German police. However, the Press Council considered, that the article does not violate the «Press Code», intended for the ethical evaluation of journalistic activities. The justification for this decision states, that the police, which is part of the executive branch, can be sharply criticized by the media.
One of the reasons for the sharp increase in the number of complaints about journalistic publications was the coronavirus epidemic. «In the face of the constraints it creates, readers want clear and verified facts. Therefore, if they have doubts about the authenticity of the material, they especially often turn to the German Press Council», Borowski points out. Moreover, even if this applies not only to publications in print and online media, which are the responsibility of the council, but also to radio and television programs.
According to Borowski, the council tried to use «coronasceptics» to get the censure of journalistic materials, that they did not like.