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German media expert: don't give populists and fact-twisters a voice

BREMEN. The media scientist Bernhard Pörksen suggested that “lateral thinkers” (the people who protest against the Covid measures in Germany) or Pegida supporters should not be given any space in the media. Especially under the conditions of the corona pandemic, fakenews and disinformation are dangerous and potentially even fatal, Pörksen told the Weser Courier.

"Anyone who still believes that the virus does not even exist or is only suitable as a pretext for the rulers to subjugate the population may not protect themselves and others properly, possibly with fatal consequences," suspected the professor of media studies from the University of Tübingen. At a time when "populists and fact-twisters are becoming more powerful, one has to say goodbye to a misunderstood ideal of balance and neutrality."

"It is necessary to take a position"
So he wants to find out what is really true and what is not. “Not everyone is a little right and a little wrong at the same time. And therefore it is necessary to take a position. "

"Monitor" moderator Georg Restle took similar views in his 2018 essay "Plea for value-oriented journalism". In it, he advocated that journalism should finally stop trying to just depict "what is". Because that it can be neutral at all is one of the greatest life lies of journalism today.

The public service media, in particular, rarely invite critics and representatives of certain opposition parties to take part in roundtables. AfD politicians made six appearances last year, compared to 32 appearances by the Greens and by the CDU / CSU.

In addition, ZDF editor-in-chief Peter Frey had decided in the past not to invite AfD politician Björn Höcke any more. AfD parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland, whom Frank Plasberg no longer wanted to see on his talk show, had a similar experience. Even prominent representatives of the lateral thinking movement rarely have their say in television talks.

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