Migration

four countries, eight styles of reporting

a comparative Datalyrics study about television reporting on migration indicates that organizational practices - not reporters‘ opinions – impact the quality of news decisively

Dec 20th 2019
David Ruzicka
<p>THE ADVICE is not new. George Orwell provided it in 1948.</p><p>“Never use the passive where you can use the active”.</p><p>Yet eighty years on, the German public-service television ARD was the only one of eight broadcasters under a study of the news about migration that heeded it consistently.</p><p>The <a href="www.datalyrics.org/styles" target="_blank">study</a> was conducted by <em>Datalyrics</em> in association with the <a href="https://cmds.ceu.edu/" target="_blank">Centre for Media, Data and Society</a> at the Central European University. We included televisions from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland. We watched one public and one influential private broadcaster from each country in two fourteen-day periods. One period was the early September of 2015, another the early July 2018. We didn’t want to show if the newscasting was simply ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Instead, our aim was to discover how journalists, by their choice of language, framing and accompanying imagery often unconsciously create portrayals of reality with a varying degree of incisiveness.</p><p>Inconsistent observation of Orwell’s advice by journalists often resulted in portrayal of refugees as passive people who need help („refugees are getting food“) or another service („migrants were convinced“; “were taken” somewhere). Rarely, however, they decide about their own fate. They form their future – as both Hungarian channels under study implied – merely when they “rile each other up“, “attack” or “go through everything”.</p><p>Kai Gniffke, the then editor-in-chief of ARD’s newscasting, says his team used the active voice purposefully: “It is lively language and requires greater journalistic precision.”</p><p>After all, to use it, journalists must be sure not only what happened but also who did it and who is therefore accountable for the development of events.</p><p>Like journalists from the less esteemed televisions, reporters from the Czech Television were not careful about diction either. In effect, they implicitly favoured state power against refugees in a conflict. This becomes clear from a comparison of reports from Hungary at the beginning of the turbulent September 2015 by the German ARD and the Czech ČT:</p><blockquote>ARD: “In Hungary, the conflict between refugees and the authorities is intensifying. … [Refugees] escaped from strictly guarded camps and broke through police blocks in Röszke, on the border with Serbia, and in Bicske, where hundreds at first refused to be detained in a camp.”</blockquote><blockquote>ČT: “Hungary has not succeeded in solving the situation with refugees. Hundreds of people continue to occupy the train station in Budapest”; “police managed to catch all” three hundred refugees “that escaped from an asylum camp” in Röszke.“</blockquote><h3>how state’s capture of media shows in reporting</h3><p>Journalists from other channels had even less time to pay attention to the subtlety of language.</p><p>“What we ask from you, is loyalty”. That is how the new deputy editor-in-chief of the Hungarian private TV2 introduced himself at an editorial meeting in January 2017, says a former reporter. “Everyone in the room knew what it meant.”</p><p>As one of the two most-watched televisions in Hungary, TV2 has since 2016 been a part of the closest circle of progovernment Hungarian media. According to <a href="https://mertek.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Mertek_Booklets_12.pdf" target="_blank">multiple</a> <a href="https://tldr.444.hu/2017/05/18/fideszmedia" target="_blank">sources</a>, TV2’s editors have gathered instructions at regular meetings with progovernment political marketers led by Antal Rogán, the head of Viktor Orbán’s Cabinet Office. The meetings thus became an intra-EU analog of the briefings in Russia where they are <a href="https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/the-man-behind-the-kremlins-control-of-the-russian-media" target="_blank">led</a> by Alexey Gromov, an official from Vladimír Putin’s office.</p><p>The close relationship with the state manifested in TV2’s reporting. Like to the Polish state-run TVP, only a few reports from the summer of 2018 sufficed to TV2 to match most criteria that allow for its reporting to be labelled as “propaganda”. In contrast with, for instance, the Czech private Prima.</p><p>Thus, the Hungarian TV2 and the Polish TVP joined the Hungarian state-run MTV which broadcasted “propaganda” already in the first period under study in 2015.</p><p>At TV2, one of the signals of the transition from ‘normal’ reporting to propaganda was a change in the use of keywords. Legally correct terms “asylum applicant” and “refugee” vanished from TV2, just like from many other Hungarian media, in 2016.</p><p>“When I was asked to do a report on migration, I inquired if I can use the word refugee. They said no. It was that clear”, says a former reporter.</p><p>At the Polish state-run television, the transformation began by summary dismissals of in total over 150 journalists a few months after the current ruling party took power. TVP’s loyalty to the government, however, remained stratified in 2016.</p><p>“Back in 2016, if senior editors wanted to send an important political message, they approached servile reporters. They would have avoided asking those who might say no. Now, it is like you are either with us or you do not work at TVP at all,” says a reporter who worked at TVP both before and after the purges.</p><p>Newscasting by the Hungarian state-run MTV and the Polish state-run TVP exhibits similarities. In the recent past, both have been eager to portray violent attacks of varied provenience as religious terrorism or introduced asylum seekers as “Muslim immigrants” with pejorative undertones. In the fourteen-day period from July 2018 under our study, both repeatedly used a homy video Viktor Orbán had recorded for his followers on Facebook, without revealing the source, separating news from views or featuring other, nor opposition’s views.</p><p>But when the new editorial practices settled, also a major difference between the brand of propaganda aired by the Hungarian progovernment televisions and the current Polish state-run broadcaster remained.</p><p>The Polish TVP did rail against migration but the theme of migration was only a convenient instrument for a glorification of the contemporary government. Many reports from July 2018 culminated in unelaborate allusions to problems “caused as well by the previous government”; trouble “that Jarosław Kaczyński, president of [the Law and Justice party], warned against” or haywire assertions (“V4 countries are just right” in their dispute with “the EU dictatorship”).</p><p>In contrast, the Hungarian propaganda was based on a robust manipulation of the theme of migration. The Hungarian propagandists made refugees and migrants into a singular threat to Hungary and the Hungarians (academics like to call this creating “moral panic“).</p><p>The Hungarian propagandists achieved this picture by a continuous association of migration with criminality and terrorism. To this end, they used dubious articles of various progovernment websites that often originate from a central source. The Hungarian reporters did not verify the information therein despite at least some of it was made up – such as a warning about alleged concrete terrorists hiding among the migrants.</p><p>With a similar ease, the Hungarian propagandists used stories earlier disseminated by outlets owned by the Russian government or hyperpolitical websites like Breitbart. To warn of an “invasion” of Europe by “migrants”, for instance, TV2 used unverified footage from a hyperpolitical website Unzensuriert.at. To this website, the television referred to anonymously as to “an Austrian website”.</p><p><img src="/img/articles/images/HgI4XugEgWKegUVcQE26PJMkugeWSlA9d5kLsmVL.png" width="360" style="display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1em 1em;"></p><p>Progovernment framing of alleged events was supported by the frequent presence of ‘experts’ from progovernment think-tanks like Századvég. Cultural stereotypes were emboldened by MTV through contrasting a recording of a quintessentially German brass band in Lederhosen from the village of Piding with footage of chaotic scenes featuring migrants “40 to 60” of whom were said to walk through the village “every day” in 2015 (see pictures).</p><p><img src="/img/articles/images/6iJIXkmJKZWYxs0tuAQkTwTpPqTn4rI5gNxx0ITq.png" width="360" style="display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1em 1em;"></p><p>TV2 tampered with footage to make a scuffle among migrants look like a fist-fight. MTV repeatedly aired outright lies. In September 2015, for instance, it cited a progovernment blogger and a high-school teacher Elmar Forster to create an impression that “Austrian historians” are protesting against the Austrian Chancellor’s criticism of Hungarian government.</p><p>One of the most remarkable news items was created by MTV on occasion of the EU migration summit in the summer of 2018. MTV’s reporters made a compilation of foreign-language statements of politicians that they left untranslated and cut short mid-sentence. From the mouth of Guy Verhofstadt, Orbán’s passionate critic, for instance, the viewers could only hear: “It’s like Stalin or Brezhnev”. These by itself meaningless bits symbolizing attacks on Hungary by its ‘enemies’ were interspersed with recordings of Mr Soros. The news item culminated when a reporter stated that in the domain of migration, Hungary became “Brussels’ number one target”. The reporters paired this claim with a video in which dark-skinned men are throwing stones ‘at Hungary’ during a stand-off with police on the Hungarian-Serbian border.</p><p>By connecting migration with the EU and Soros, the designated plotter, the Hungarian broadcasters MTV and TV2 completed the triad of great threats that the government warned against in smear campaigns for which the Hungarian taxpayers paid € 188 million between 2015 and 2018. These campaigns functioned also as subsidies rewarding media’s loyalty and TV2 was their <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2019.1662398" target="_blank">largest</a> receiver.</p><h3>between adopting political narratives and in-house description of causalities and possible solutions</h3><p>Two former reporters from the Czech private Prima, on the other hand, never gained an impression that Prima would have ever been servile to the government. According to one of them, “utmost politicization” was associated almost exclusively with the topic of migration. In our study, Prima’s yen to insert arguments in the news also manifested in a grudge against the EU, Angela Merkel, George Soros and non-profits.</p><p>Conflicts arose in the newsroom. If the seniors wanted to make an argument in some report, they tasked the reporters who agreed with them.</p><p>“Reporters who pleaded for compliance with impartiality were branded by others as sunshine people”, says a former reporter.<span class="foot-note">“sluníčkáři”, a Czech derogatory term used for advocates of refugee acceptance</span></p><p>This way, Prima became the only non-propagandistic television in the sample which did not attempt to explain the limbo and other reasons that led refugees to the decision to leave from Budapest Keleti train station to the West in September of 2015. That resulted also from the use of incoherent sentences in one of which, for instance, Prima explained motives of one actor by advocating actions of another: “[R]efugees set on a journey to Austria by foot because the Hungarians adhered to the rules and could not let them out of the country”.</p><p>The second similarity with the propagandistic broadcasters was Prima’s yen to allocate blame. As a result, at the turn of June and July 2018, Prima’s main message about migration in three consecutive days was the denial of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to have been parties to a repatriation agreement of 16 countries brokered by Angela Merkel. Prima adopted Andrej Babiš’s narrative who effectively accused Merkel of “lying” and “spreading fake news”. Prima additionally implied that Merkel did so “to save her skin”. In comparison, ČT’s reporter brushed the whole hurray off the table by perceptively noting that Italy, the then EU‘s biggest registrator of asylum seekers, was not among the parties to the deal from the very beginning.</p><p>The third similarity lied in visuals. Like the propagandistic broadcasters, Prima did not only used ‘stock migrant’ imagery (‘migrants on a boat’, ‘migrants in a queue’) but also often filmed refugees and migrants from distance and from behind. ARD, in stark contrast, often personified actors involved, whether policemen or refugees, through close-ups.</p><p>For Gniffke, the effort to depict people “as people and not as an anonymous mass” is self-evidently a part of the intention to portray reality authentically.</p><p>Polish private TVN which operates in a highly polarized media market, on the other hand, purposefully confronted domestic politicians who may have used the theme of migration to score political points. Instead of a confrontation through a robust analysis which was offered by the German ARD, however, TVN’s challenges were evaluative (“politicians create anti-migration hysteria”, “in this selfishness, the rulers are not alone”). In such criticism, TVN was transparent: reporters were clearly marked as authors of opinions and after the charges against politicians of various parties, they offered a rich pallet of meaningful views that contrasted with the commentaries of reporters.</p><p>A TVP reporter concedes that the main difference between TVP and TVN is that a TVN's viewer hears the second side:</p><p>“If the opposition does something wrong, TVN may try to defend or justify it but they would say it. If the government does something wrong, you will not learn about it from TVP.”</p><div class="quote-right">None of the V4 broadcasters challenged the prevailing trend of outsourcing of migration policies to third countries.</div><p>None of the V4 broadcasters, however, offered an alternative to the prevailing trend of outsourcing of migration policies to third countries. The most common frame was that of a power struggle. Disputes between the V4 and the EU were typically described in a language of interests rather than in a language of ideas.</p><p>On behalf of ČT, Michal Kubal reflected on this: “So, you say the respective opposing ideas were not sufficiently described? That they were too much personalized by the players who stood for the respective currents?”</p><p>For the German ARD, on the other hand, a robust reconstruction of causalities was frequently central to its reporting.</p><p>“Our aim has always been not only to describe the daily events but also to analyse what are the motives of refugees, what are the interests of the international actors and what problems are triggered by them. This is what ARD correspondents have to do,” says Mr Gniffke. “They should not be content with describing the images from their videos.”</p><p><br></p>
<p>THE ADVICE is not new. George Orwell provided it in 1948.</p><p>“Never use the passive where you can use the active”.</p><p>Yet eighty years on, the German public-service television ARD was the only one of eight broadcasters under a study of the news about migration that heeded it consistently.</p><p>The <a href="www.datalyrics.org/styles" target="_blank">study</a> was conducted by <em>Datalyrics</em> in association with the <a href="https://cmds.ceu.edu/" target="_blank">Centre for Media, Data and Society</a> at the Central European University. We included televisions from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland. We watched one public and one influential private broadcaster from each country in two fourteen-day periods. One period was the early September of 2015, another the early July 2018. We didn’t want to show if the newscasting was simply ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Instead, our aim was to discover how journalists, by their choice of language, framing and accompanying imagery often unconsciously create portrayals of reality with a varying degree of incisiveness.</p><p>Inconsistent observation of Orwell’s advice by journalists often resulted in portrayal of refugees as passive people who need help („refugees are getting food“) or another service („migrants were convinced“; “were taken” somewhere). Rarely, however, they decide about their own fate. They form their future – as both Hungarian channels under study implied – merely when they “rile each other up“, “attack” or “go through everything”.</p><p>Kai Gniffke, the then editor-in-chief of ARD’s newscasting, says his team used the active voice purposefully: “It is lively language and requires greater journalistic precision.”</p><p>After all, to use it, journalists must be sure not only what happened but also who did it and who is therefore accountable for the development of events.</p><p>Like journalists from the less esteemed televisions, reporters from the Czech Television were not careful about diction either. In effect, they implicitly favoured state power against refugees in a conflict. This becomes clear from a comparison of reports from Hungary at the beginning of the turbulent September 2015 by the German ARD and the Czech ČT:</p><blockquote>ARD: “In Hungary, the conflict between refugees and the authorities is intensifying. … [Refugees] escaped from strictly guarded camps and broke through police blocks in Röszke, on the border with Serbia, and in Bicske, where hundreds at first refused to be detained in a camp.”</blockquote><blockquote>ČT: “Hungary has not succeeded in solving the situation with refugees. Hundreds of people continue to occupy the train station in Budapest”; “police managed to catch all” three hundred refugees “that escaped from an asylum camp” in Röszke.“</blockquote><h3>how state’s capture of media shows in reporting</h3><p>Journalists from other channels had even less time to pay attention to the subtlety of language.</p><p>“What we ask from you, is loyalty”. That is how the new deputy editor-in-chief of the Hungarian private TV2 introduced himself at an editorial meeting in January 2017, says a former reporter. “Everyone in the room knew what it meant.”</p><p>As one of the two most-watched televisions in Hungary, TV2 has since 2016 been a part of the closest circle of progovernment Hungarian media. According to <a href="https://mertek.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Mertek_Booklets_12.pdf" target="_blank">multiple</a> <a href="https://tldr.444.hu/2017/05/18/fideszmedia" target="_blank">sources</a>, TV2’s editors have gathered instructions at regular meetings with progovernment political marketers led by Antal Rogán, the head of Viktor Orbán’s Cabinet Office. The meetings thus became an intra-EU analog of the briefings in Russia where they are <a href="https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/the-man-behind-the-kremlins-control-of-the-russian-media" target="_blank">led</a> by Alexey Gromov, an official from Vladimír Putin’s office.</p><p>The close relationship with the state manifested in TV2’s reporting. Like to the Polish state-run TVP, only a few reports from the summer of 2018 sufficed to TV2 to match most criteria that allow for its reporting to be labelled as “propaganda”. In contrast with, for instance, the Czech private Prima.</p><p>Thus, the Hungarian TV2 and the Polish TVP joined the Hungarian state-run MTV which broadcasted “propaganda” already in the first period under study in 2015.</p><p>At TV2, one of the signals of the transition from ‘normal’ reporting to propaganda was a change in the use of keywords. Legally correct terms “asylum applicant” and “refugee” vanished from TV2, just like from many other Hungarian media, in 2016.</p><p>“When I was asked to do a report on migration, I inquired if I can use the word refugee. They said no. It was that clear”, says a former reporter.</p><p>At the Polish state-run television, the transformation began by summary dismissals of in total over 150 journalists a few months after the current ruling party took power. TVP’s loyalty to the government, however, remained stratified in 2016.</p><p>“Back in 2016, if senior editors wanted to send an important political message, they approached servile reporters. They would have avoided asking those who might say no. Now, it is like you are either with us or you do not work at TVP at all,” says a reporter who worked at TVP both before and after the purges.</p><p>Newscasting by the Hungarian state-run MTV and the Polish state-run TVP exhibits similarities. In the recent past, both have been eager to portray violent attacks of varied provenience as religious terrorism or introduced asylum seekers as “Muslim immigrants” with pejorative undertones. In the fourteen-day period from July 2018 under our study, both repeatedly used a homy video Viktor Orbán had recorded for his followers on Facebook, without revealing the source, separating news from views or featuring other, nor opposition’s views.</p><p>But when the new editorial practices settled, also a major difference between the brand of propaganda aired by the Hungarian progovernment televisions and the current Polish state-run broadcaster remained.</p><p>The Polish TVP did rail against migration but the theme of migration was only a convenient instrument for a glorification of the contemporary government. Many reports from July 2018 culminated in unelaborate allusions to problems “caused as well by the previous government”; trouble “that Jarosław Kaczyński, president of [the Law and Justice party], warned against” or haywire assertions (“V4 countries are just right” in their dispute with “the EU dictatorship”).</p><p>In contrast, the Hungarian propaganda was based on a robust manipulation of the theme of migration. The Hungarian propagandists made refugees and migrants into a singular threat to Hungary and the Hungarians (academics like to call this creating “moral panic“).</p><p>The Hungarian propagandists achieved this picture by a continuous association of migration with criminality and terrorism. To this end, they used dubious articles of various progovernment websites that often originate from a central source. The Hungarian reporters did not verify the information therein despite at least some of it was made up – such as a warning about alleged concrete terrorists hiding among the migrants.</p><p>With a similar ease, the Hungarian propagandists used stories earlier disseminated by outlets owned by the Russian government or hyperpolitical websites like Breitbart. To warn of an “invasion” of Europe by “migrants”, for instance, TV2 used unverified footage from a hyperpolitical website Unzensuriert.at. To this website, the television referred to anonymously as to “an Austrian website”.</p><p><img src="/img/articles/images/HgI4XugEgWKegUVcQE26PJMkugeWSlA9d5kLsmVL.png" width="360" style="display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1em 1em;"></p><p>Progovernment framing of alleged events was supported by the frequent presence of ‘experts’ from progovernment think-tanks like Századvég. Cultural stereotypes were emboldened by MTV through contrasting a recording of a quintessentially German brass band in Lederhosen from the village of Piding with footage of chaotic scenes featuring migrants “40 to 60” of whom were said to walk through the village “every day” in 2015 (see pictures).</p><p><img src="/img/articles/images/6iJIXkmJKZWYxs0tuAQkTwTpPqTn4rI5gNxx0ITq.png" width="360" style="display: inline; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 1em 1em;"></p><p>TV2 tampered with footage to make a scuffle among migrants look like a fist-fight. MTV repeatedly aired outright lies. In September 2015, for instance, it cited a progovernment blogger and a high-school teacher Elmar Forster to create an impression that “Austrian historians” are protesting against the Austrian Chancellor’s criticism of Hungarian government.</p><p>One of the most remarkable news items was created by MTV on occasion of the EU migration summit in the summer of 2018. MTV’s reporters made a compilation of foreign-language statements of politicians that they left untranslated and cut short mid-sentence. From the mouth of Guy Verhofstadt, Orbán’s passionate critic, for instance, the viewers could only hear: “It’s like Stalin or Brezhnev”. These by itself meaningless bits symbolizing attacks on Hungary by its ‘enemies’ were interspersed with recordings of Mr Soros. The news item culminated when a reporter stated that in the domain of migration, Hungary became “Brussels’ number one target”. The reporters paired this claim with a video in which dark-skinned men are throwing stones ‘at Hungary’ during a stand-off with police on the Hungarian-Serbian border.</p><p>By connecting migration with the EU and Soros, the designated plotter, the Hungarian broadcasters MTV and TV2 completed the triad of great threats that the government warned against in smear campaigns for which the Hungarian taxpayers paid € 188 million between 2015 and 2018. These campaigns functioned also as subsidies rewarding media’s loyalty and TV2 was their <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2019.1662398" target="_blank">largest</a> receiver.</p><h3>between adopting political narratives and in-house description of causalities and possible solutions</h3><p>Two former reporters from the Czech private Prima, on the other hand, never gained an impression that Prima would have ever been servile to the government. According to one of them, “utmost politicization” was associated almost exclusively with the topic of migration. In our study, Prima’s yen to insert arguments in the news also manifested in a grudge against the EU, Angela Merkel, George Soros and non-profits.</p><p>Conflicts arose in the newsroom. If the seniors wanted to make an argument in some report, they tasked the reporters who agreed with them.</p><p>“Reporters who pleaded for compliance with impartiality were branded by others as sunshine people”, says a former reporter.<span class="foot-note">“sluníčkáři”, a Czech derogatory term used for advocates of refugee acceptance</span></p><p>This way, Prima became the only non-propagandistic television in the sample which did not attempt to explain the limbo and other reasons that led refugees to the decision to leave from Budapest Keleti train station to the West in September of 2015. That resulted also from the use of incoherent sentences in one of which, for instance, Prima explained motives of one actor by advocating actions of another: “[R]efugees set on a journey to Austria by foot because the Hungarians adhered to the rules and could not let them out of the country”.</p><p>The second similarity with the propagandistic broadcasters was Prima’s yen to allocate blame. As a result, at the turn of June and July 2018, Prima’s main message about migration in three consecutive days was the denial of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to have been parties to a repatriation agreement of 16 countries brokered by Angela Merkel. Prima adopted Andrej Babiš’s narrative who effectively accused Merkel of “lying” and “spreading fake news”. Prima additionally implied that Merkel did so “to save her skin”. In comparison, ČT’s reporter brushed the whole hurray off the table by perceptively noting that Italy, the then EU‘s biggest registrator of asylum seekers, was not among the parties to the deal from the very beginning.</p><p>The third similarity lied in visuals. Like the propagandistic broadcasters, Prima did not only used ‘stock migrant’ imagery (‘migrants on a boat’, ‘migrants in a queue’) but also often filmed refugees and migrants from distance and from behind. ARD, in stark contrast, often personified actors involved, whether policemen or refugees, through close-ups.</p><p>For Gniffke, the effort to depict people “as people and not as an anonymous mass” is self-evidently a part of the intention to portray reality authentically.</p><p>Polish private TVN which operates in a highly polarized media market, on the other hand, purposefully confronted domestic politicians who may have used the theme of migration to score political points. Instead of a confrontation through a robust analysis which was offered by the German ARD, however, TVN’s challenges were evaluative (“politicians create anti-migration hysteria”, “in this selfishness, the rulers are not alone”). In such criticism, TVN was transparent: reporters were clearly marked as authors of opinions and after the charges against politicians of various parties, they offered a rich pallet of meaningful views that contrasted with the commentaries of reporters.</p><p>A TVP reporter concedes that the main difference between TVP and TVN is that a TVN's viewer hears the second side:</p><p>“If the opposition does something wrong, TVN may try to defend or justify it but they would say it. If the government does something wrong, you will not learn about it from TVP.”</p><div class="quote-right">None of the V4 broadcasters challenged the prevailing trend of outsourcing of migration policies to third countries.</div><p>None of the V4 broadcasters, however, offered an alternative to the prevailing trend of outsourcing of migration policies to third countries. The most common frame was that of a power struggle. Disputes between the V4 and the EU were typically described in a language of interests rather than in a language of ideas.</p><p>On behalf of ČT, Michal Kubal reflected on this: “So, you say the respective opposing ideas were not sufficiently described? That they were too much personalized by the players who stood for the respective currents?”</p><p>For the German ARD, on the other hand, a robust reconstruction of causalities was frequently central to its reporting.</p><p>“Our aim has always been not only to describe the daily events but also to analyse what are the motives of refugees, what are the interests of the international actors and what problems are triggered by them. This is what ARD correspondents have to do,” says Mr Gniffke. “They should not be content with describing the images from their videos.”</p><p><br></p>

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