How influential is the mass media

Election analysis 2005

Michael Konken

To person

born 1953; Federal Chairman of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), Schiffbauerdamm 40, 10117 Berlin.
Email: [email protected]

Violent allegations such as media campaigns, election manipulation and media power were made after the federal election. The critical journalist is increasingly no longer seen in his guardian role, but as an obstacle.


"You can recognize a good journalist by the fact that he doesn't have something in common with something, not even with a good one." This sentence by Hanns Joachim Friedrichs is intended to be the starting point for reflections on previous election reports; reporting that has been criticized by politicians like never before, but is only justified in individual cases.

Politicians complain when their interviews are not printed, and they also complain when critical comments appear. On the one hand, politicians need the media in order to be noticed by the public; on the other hand, they react indignantly when journalists fulfill their constitutional mandate. Politicians who have recognized that elections cannot be won without positive reporting and that their need for public image is not met, now use all types of PR to get into the public eye through the media.

Politicians increasingly seem to be no longer able to deal with the public in an understandable way. In addition, there is the ever increasing demarcation from critical reports. Even if it sounds hypothetical, it must be feared that politicians will increasingly try to restrict the work of the media through legal measures in order to make them more docile. The current cases of editorial searches at "Cicero", the securing of connection data as in the case of the "Dresdner Morgenpost" or the shadowing of journalists by the Federal Intelligence Service support this fear. The German Association of Journalists registered over 150 such cases between 1997 and 2000.