Feindbild Journalist 5: Journalist as enemy stereotype

Press-ECPMF

05 July 2021

No Comments

Key findings of the study

  1. Negative record: Sixty-nine physical attacks on journalists were recorded in 2020. This is the highest number since our records began in 2015.
  2. Most dangerous workplace: Seventy-one percent of attacks took place at pandemic-related demonstrations.
  3. Geography of violence: Berlin was the geographical focus with 23 assaults. Saxony remained a hotspot with 19 attacks.
  4. A politically diverse range of different perpetrators: Thirty-three cases cannot be clearly assessed politically, 31 acts were assigned to the right-wing spectrum.
  5. Continuing trend: From the beginning of the year until mid-March 2021, the ECPMF registered 8 assaults.
  6. Overall view 2015-2020: The ECPMF examined and documented 182 cases.

This study documents 69 physical attacks on journalists in Germany in 2020. On average, press representatives were physically attacked on almost every fifth day. This is the highest figure recorded by the ECPMF since the survey began in 2015. Compared to the previous year (2019: 14 attacks), the number has increased almost fivefold.

This finding continues a development that began to become a dangerous normality in the everyday work of journalists in 2015: Journalists were spat upon, punched, kicked and had their cameras snatched out of their hands. With the loss of political support for Pegida and the decline in right-wing populist rallies, the attacks initially decreased. However, the public hatred of the press that was sown there has since become part of the ideological inventory, especially among right-wing open-minded and indignant radicals. This leads to a continuity of anti-press violence: It erupts abruptly whenever the opportunity presents itself.

The record number of physical attacks against journalists is therefore not a symptom of a “new quality of hostility towards the press“, but rather it reflects the potential for violence of a minority of the population.

Read news by categories:

Download

Press photos for free use if the source is acknowledged (Rights: ECPMF/Lamm)

Related news

Statement

Turkey: Concern over proposals to introduce new regulation of “fake” and “foreign-funded” news

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and undersigned partner organisations are concerned about and condemn recent statements by Turkish President Erdoğan and other government officials pertaining to the introduction of new regulation of so-called fake news and “foreign-funded” news in the country.

READ MORE
Statement

Hungary: MFRR highly alarmed by Pegasus surveillance revelations

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is highly alarmed by the revelations by a consortium led by French NGO Forbidden Stories about the surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and others through the Pegasus spyware program developed by Israeli company NSO Group.

READ MORE
SLAPP

UK: New policy paper on countering legal intimidation and SLAPPs

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) supports a new policy paper by the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition, titled "Countering Legal Intimidation and SLAPPs".

READ MORE
Statement

Belarus: Joint call condemning raids on media and HRDs and demanding the release of those detained

READ MORE
Statement

Georgia: ECPMF saddened by death of Alexandr Lashkarava

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECMPF) is saddened by the death of Georgian TV camera operator Alexandr Lashkarava. Last week, far-right assailants severely beat him while he was covering attacks on LGBTQI+ activists in Tbilisi. A few days later, on 10 July, he was found dead at his home by his mother.

READ MORE
Statement

Albania: Concern after government ally elected to head key media regulator

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today expresses deep concern about the future impartiality and independence of Albania’s Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) following the election of a close associate of the ruling Socialist Party to head the media regulator.

READ MORE