Reporters Without Borders: Germany is no longer in the top group in the worldwide ranking of press freedom.
Berlin – For the first time, Germany is no longer in the top group in Reporters Without Borders’ worldwide ranking of press freedom. The situation of journalists in the Federal Republic is therefore no longer classified as “good”. The background to this are attacks on representatives of the press, especially during protests by corona deniers.
The federal government reacted with concern to the downgrade of Germany in the worldwide ranking of press freedom. “The attacks on journalists, especially during protests by Corona deniers, are attacks on the freedom of the press that we as a democratic society cannot accept under any circumstances,” said Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Tuesday. “Anyone who yells“ lying press ”or uses fables from“ system media ”prepares the ground for a climate of violence.” Lambrecht referred to government initiatives such as the draft law against so-called enemy lists.
Ranking of press freedom from Reporters Without Borders: Germany only “satisfactory”
In the worldwide published on Tuesday Freedom of the press ranking for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Germany fell out of the top group for the first time: “Due to the many attacks on corona demonstrations, we had to downgrade the freedom of the press in Germany from” good “to only” satisfactory “: a clear alarm signal,” said RSF. In the 2020 calendar year, RSF counted at least 65 violent attacks against journalists in Germany. The number has thus increased fivefold compared to the previous year. The Federal Republic ranks 13th in a global ranking of 180 countries. According to a comparable method, the list has existed since 2013.
The media policy spokesman for the FDP in the Bundestag, Thomas Hacker, described Germany’s performance as “as shameful as it is alarming”. The rule of law must react “immediately with all determination”. “In demo events, attacks on journalists must have the same consequences for the perpetrators as, for example, sedition or looting. There must always be justified criticism of reporting, but media representatives are never fair game, ”said Hacker.
RSF managing director Christian Mihr called on the radio station Bayern 2 for more support for journalists who report on rallies by opponents of the corona measures. One must say critically that the police in Germany “do not always adequately protect the rights of (…) journalists,” said Mihr. “That is why we also demand that police training and further education strengthen the fact that police officers learn better: What are the rights of journalists in the context of reporting?”
Attacks on journalists in corona demonstrations: Germany loses top position in the ranking
According to the reporter organization, the majority of physical and verbal attacks occurred in 2020 on or on the sidelines of demonstrations against corona measures. “Journalists were beaten, kicked and pushed to the ground, they were spat at and harassed, insulted, threatened and prevented from working. More than three quarters of all physical attacks occurred on or on the fringes of demonstrations, including, in addition to the corona protests, for example, demos against the ban on the left-wing internet platform linksunten.indymedia.org and demos on May 1st, ”summarizes RSF.
The German Association of Journalists (DJV) spoke of an “alarm signal that must make politics and society sit up and take notice”. DJV Federal Chairman Frank Überall emphasized that in the first few months of this year there were repeated acts of violence against reporters: “If the important basic right of freedom of the press and freedom of expression is restricted more and more, we have a massive problem in Germany.” (dpa / aka) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
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