Teach Your Editors Well

The German Interior Ministry, in partnership with official Islamic organizations, is planning a tutorial for media editors that will instruct them how to report properly on Islam.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for translating this article from the Christian (Protestant) news weekly Idea.de:

Islam workshop in the Ministry of the Interior: Are chief editors being influenced?

18 December 2016

[Photo caption: At the beginning of 2017, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, together with Islamic associations, invited to a workshop for journalists.]

Frankfurt am Main — The journalist Volker Siefert (Frankfurt am Main) offered a sharp criticism of a planned event for chief editors organized by the Federal Ministry of the Interior together with Islamic associations. As he writes in an op-ed under the heading “Heile Islam World Workshop in the Ministry of the Interior” in the magazine of the German journalists’ association, Journalist (Remagen), the member associations of the German Islam Conference demanded that Thomas de Maizière (CDU) offer a course “in which chief editors of all relevant media in Germany should learn how to correctly report on Islam.” He said it would take place on the ministry’s premises in early 2017, and had been developed by the Ministry of the Interior and Islamic associations: “This is what the associations have created what lobbyists otherwise dream of: namely, that the state intervenes in the process of opinion formation, about something that is directly discussed with the media’s responsible leaders.”

Siefert: A minister cannot tutor journalists

The action is downplayed by the Ministry of the Interior as “perfectly normal”. Siefert: “If this were normal, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology would have organized a workshop on “workplace-friendly reporting in the Diesel affair together with the car industry.” The state has to keep out of lobbying: “A minister isn’t allowed to act as co-organizer (either for a group or a person) together with a group of interests to provide tutorials for journalists.” Siefert works as a freelance journalist for, among other things, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) and is primarily concerned with extremism motivated by Islam. In 2006, then-Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) wanted to create the “institutional framework for dialogue between people of Muslim faith and representatives of all levels of our community” with the German Islam Conference. Ten umbrella organizations, including the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DITIB), the Central Council of Muslims in Germany and the Alevit Community Deutschland (all in Cologne), are participating in the project.

11 thoughts on “Teach Your Editors Well

  1. I don’t think so. I Imagine he would have gotten rid of the lot in Gestapo style. And their enablers. I suspect Adolph and Joe are rising in the national charts.

  2. The German government should rename the Ministry of Interior the Ministry of Truth. That way they would be more truthful. Big brother already has hate crime and thought crime. They could add face crime too. Dispense with oldspeak. Bring in newspeak and duck speak. It would be considered bad think to be in non-compliance with good think and you run the risk of being an ungood unperson. You want to be compliant, think good think. Better yet, double think. Then you would be plus good. If you wanted to be safe, speak into the speakwrite, and what comes out will be good speak and good think. Be goodthinkful. Big brother is plusplusgood.

  3. This sorry affair illustrates the undesirability of having media dependent on the government in any way. I don’t know how subsidized the press is in Germany.

    The worst example I know of are the BBC in England and NPR in the US, although NPR has been cutting its financial dependence. A media conglomerate, like the major networks or the New York Times are also dependent on government. They generate tremendous revenue streams on which they are dependent and which the government could impede with the smallest regulation.

    It is still the case that most US media would reject such an attempt at open government interference out of hand, not so much because they disagree with it, but they would be aware of how bad it would look on places like Fox and the social media.

  4. This confirms a feeling I have long nourished that the German government goes far in manipulating the regular journalistic cycles and beyond, to the whole mind-set of German group-think dominated by the inheritors of the old Propaganda offices. A household in Germany must pay more than 50 EUR every fiscal quarter for TV and other media access. This fee pays the salaries of TV editors and journalists, plus their retirement benefits which are very generous compared to the general public.

    • Brits at least have the option of not having a tv or a licence; the latter has not been required for radio for some years.

      • Amazing that TV ownership requires a license. I just love the welfare soviet. We don’t have a TV by choice. Thus when we get the occasional TV poll phone call on what we watch it’s hard to get thru to the person on the other end that we do.not.have.a.television. I always ask if they’d like the short version as to *why* or would they prefer the unabridged, unexpurgated spiel. They can’t get off fast enough.

  5. The Germans have again taken to the Nazis, but this time their faces are covered. We are going to have to do it again.

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