ECPMF aims to start dialogue on Pegida attacks

By Martin Hoffman
The ECPMF-team is following up its Fact Finding Mission Concept of the enemy, investigating the attacks on journalists in Germany related to the so called "Lying Press-debate". This is an urban myth that dates back to Nazi propaganda in World War II, and symbolises a lack of trust in the media.

Danko HandrickOur first Fact Finding Mission published in December revealed a massive increase in the total number of attacks on journalists. They were caused by increasely aggressive populists and extremists mainly at the sites of demonstrations. The follow up will focus on three main topics:

Prosecution by German security authorities of those who commit attacks. The situation of freelancers reporting from populist and extremist events.
Preparing for a dialogue between journalists, security authorities, politics and supporters of the Lying Press-idea.

To complete the picture we also investigate whether journalists in other European regions also suffer similar attacks and what causes them.

The first interview was with Danko Handrick, reporter-in-chief of MDR (First German Television in Leipzig), who invited rightwing populist demonstrators from Dresden´s Pegida-Movement to the TV news headquarters and made a reportage out of their visit.

Danko Handrick considered the experiment was a success. He invited two pensioners, who believed the populists’ claims about the „Lying Press „before their visit.  After watching the daily journalists newsgathering process, with discussions about topics to cover, he let them join in the production of their own reportage.

I just wanted to make transparent, how journalists  work. It was not our intention to convince them of anything. But if they both - and some of the audience who have watched the reportage about their visit - started to rethink some of their positions, we have at least reached a goal.

said Handrick.


Meanwhile attacks continue at an alarmingly high level: at least eight incidents have been reported in the first six weeks of 2016, documented at ECPMFs´s permanently updated Story-Map, which you are free to implement

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Results of the Follow-Up of the Fact Finding Mission are expected for the second half of April this year.

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