Staged openness: the mirror in dialogue with his readers

Staged openness: the mirror in dialogue with his readers

Mirror main building. Image: Dennis Siebert / CC BY-SA-3.0

In May, the mirror hosted one "Reader conference", to which the editors had invited about 150 critics of the leaf. An adventure report

Like most leading media, this is also the Hamburg news magazine for years in the crossfire of reading critics. Many chalks of the editors an unhealthy close to the powerful, states at a unilaterally transatlantic orientation or be a general lift of the life reality of many people. As early as 2015, the mirror organized a dinner for his critics to get into conversation (Telepolis reported).

In early 2018, the mirror reached the critical distance of many readers again in a long-way article. I was concerned in Hamburg, especially about that "Also under educated" The mistrust of the leading media is distributed. Mirror Editor Isabell Hulsen analyzed:

The starting point of the research was that even from spoken with many colleagues one had the impression that this mistrust against the media arrived in a milieu, what we did not perceive for a long time – so well educated people who believe that they are – standing – socially, they actually managed. And there is still a crazy anger and a mistrust on media (…) that "Lying press"-Bruzzle of a marketplace mob, who knows no arguments, just anger, love to leave. But the contempt of educational castles gnaws at the self-confidence (…) What makes themselves people who do not go bad after objective mabs in this society, so doing that they are such a swimming swimming?

Isabell Hulsen

At the end of Hulsen’s article the readers were called to report with their criticism at the editor. Nearly 3.000 people, so the mirror, came to the request immediately. Through this new flood of criticism, the editors decided to become one "Reader conference". You wanted to face the critics directly and prove goodwill for dialogue – even in the face of steady declining sales taxes certainly no bad idea.

I even learned from the planned event only random. One of me personally not well-known reader contacted me and wrote that she had been invited to just a readers conference, but unfortunately prevented – whether I would not participate in her place? I asked them to clearly clear with the mirror, whether a transfer of their personal invitation to me is possible and then got, two days before the event, an e-mail from the mirror: "Dear Mr. Schreyer, we look forward to seeing you on 25.05.2018 for the event ‘Mirror Reader Conference’ to be buried." Delighted I sat down in the train to Hamburg, "armed" Blob with pen and notepad, since according to participation conditions "Ton, photographic and film recordings prohibited" was.

When changing at Lubeck station, a grotesque random – Bernhard porks went over the way, that media scientist, who repeatedly defends the leading media relatively against loud reading critics and that in the mirror in 2015 before the "Hate of the decision-wisser" had warned: "The current attacks of conspiracy theorists threaten journalism." In the tranquil Luber station he met me, apparently with another destination, shortly on the stairs and looked at me confused – a suitable omen for the day.

From the Hamburg Central Station, it is only a few minutes to the imposing mirror building, which is surrounded by the fortress on three sides of water and where the incoming visitors of young employees in bleeding forward shirts were accommodated and equipped with conference papers. Inside 13 floors high atrium, a buffet with coffee and cake waited next to bowl rows, which are slowly fully. The majority of visitors were the opinion of Gutburg family father, beyond the fun fifty, people who apparently reading the mirror for a long time and that, at least at first glance, barely looked like blindly hateful conspiracy theorists.

"We look critically on ourselves"

To open up Klaus Brinkbaumer, 51, since 2015 editor-in-chief of the leaf, a coarse-growing, Eloquenter man who was in his youth of Bundesliga volleyball player and sails today in his free time. Standing on the bean, Brinkbaumer, gently lying down his head, repeatedly after his own sats, while a suppuzzed laughing on his lips.

The mirror looks critical to the world, according to the editor-in-chief, and therefore too "critically on us". MAN "Add more mistakes than earlier", However, this self-image obviously distinguishes itself from the opinion of many readers. Therefore, the conference, in which one is above all a wool: "to listen".

Besides him, Barbara Hans, 37, received his doctorate from the social scientist and for a year boss of Spiegel Online. Also, they said a few friendly and smart phrases for burying. This was followed by a short image film, which was projected by beamer to the wall and which tagged the daily work of the mirror clearly present a kind of explanation videos, underpinned with Pepper advertising music. For example, in the Documentation Department, 70 employees are busy checking out facts and help the Mirror journalists in the research.

After the film, workshops started, individual workgroups on which about 150 guests now split in order to recess individual topics to erect. I decided for Workshop 1 ("Dangerous? Reports from the Berlin bubble – make journalists common cause with the government?"To). In a small conference room we then sob, about 20 readers and half a dozen mirror editors around a long table.

That had become interesting. Unfortunately, the debate frowned quickly and lost in detail complaints. Some essential points came to speech, but were barely productive discussed. A reader said, deviant opinions have often been excluded as a right. Another shortness of lack of distance to established politicians and said: "There were times, the mirror did not sound like a government speaker."

Addressed to the "Death pit from Moscow"-Cover to the Case Scripal, to whom I had appealed complaint with the pressor (what I mentioned in the round), said an editor, Waschungung was allowed. Nevertheless, this cover had been controversial. On the topic of escape crisis, a mirror man dominated self-critical, you have the "Not recognized" – whereupon a reader contradicted him: it does not go around "the mood", but about "the legal situation".

But such exchange of arguments was rare. The conversation migrated most of the time rather aimlessly. As just as the word "Atlantic bread" fell, a editor inherently defeated: whose meaning will be taken over. A colleague of her, one was quite critical to the government. On my objection, whether it is not more generally about being critical to the powerful one who does not necessarily sow in the government, he reacted annoyed – and silent. In between, the editor-in-chief entered the room and hoard a few minutes with a serious expression before he hurried to the next workshop.

Mirror Reader Conference: That’s the Gaste

Dialog as a symbolic ritual

Overall, the impression of attending a ritual was to attend a symbolic ceremony that is solemnly committed and their frameworks and rules are also noticeable. But to the meaning of a true dialogue hardly any one of the participating editors really seemed to believe. Too much was convinced of the correctness of their own views. Respectfully, yes, but things are seriously questioned – that’s no longer. Finally, one explained, so the unspoken tenor in the room, still the readers the world – and not reversed.

According to the workshops, everyone met again in the atrium for the joint evaluation. The mood was a bit like at school. From the front, individuals were called, which then introduced the discussion results of the respective working groups. Was presented:

* The mirror is not government critical enough

* Certain enemies are consolidated in reporting

* The leaf is too American-friendly and to Russia’s critical

* Geopolitics is a blind spot in reporting

* It lacks reports to life life and culture of foreign countries, for example to China

* Stories should from the point of view of simple people, "from underneath", be paid, not "from above"

* Reader felt patronized, searched more pluralitat of opinions

* The editors live in a bubble and move "above the clouds", Surrounded by people "With at least five-storey income"

Also a point from me came in the evaluation to the language. I had mentioned that Olaf Ihlau, former foreign leader of the Spiegel, had sharply criticized and meant two years ago the Russian-critical course of his leaf, he became when he was still working in the mirror, as a counterweight put the headline on the cover: "Where Putin is right". After all, a written editor had written and wore it in the atrium – where there was somehow undertaken between coffee, cake and heavy concrete of the 13 floors.

Klaus Brinkbaumer had also made notes and set to a resumea, again eloquent and with unshakable laughing, but without the reference to any concrete insight. He seemed to be so satisfied with himself and the evening.

Journalists unquestioned

Subsequently, on a small table and had the opportunity to address individual editors and guests directly and informally. I joined Isabell Hulsen and introduced me as the author who "The rage of the wise head", that the evening gave the occasion was very sharp criticized at the beginning of the year.

Little surprisingly, the mood fell to zero within seconds. I explained that I also wanted to write an article to this reader conference and still had some questions to you. Hulsen studied me skeptical and asked how I had come across at the house. I described the circumstances of my invitation. The Mirror Woman Mutmabte, I had hide-out to be a journalist, which is not okay. I replied I had been invited by the mirror, where now the problem is lying and if you answer me briefly two or three questions KONNE. Your reply: "Please contact our press office". I reacted astonishment: "I thought it’s about an open dialogue?" Hulsen: "We want a protected room for our readers and therefore have not expressed no journalists."

Meanwhile, she had a colleague awarded, apparently from the press office. Both stammered me suspicion. I undertook another start: "I understand that you want to answer me questions about the event now?" The two looked at me in silence. "Good", I say, "I acknowledge that and will turn to the editor-in-chief in the matter." While I turned a turn and went, hurry Hulsen already after: "For the editor-in-chief we can go together", Did she think and control resolut the table on the Klaus Brinkbaumer stood.

The situation is increasingly tipping into the bizarre. Hulsen presented me Brinkbaumer and described my "Pass". The editor-in-chief seemed visibly overwhelmed with the situation and turned advice to his co-worker: "Mrs. Hulsen, have a moment?" And turn to me: "Mr. Schreyer, sorry, I’ll be right back." Then the two disappeared in a corner of the room and discussed themselves.

Contrary to his envision, Brinkbaumer was ignoring back to me, horsen but already – and was now changed. Of course you can answer my questions, no problem. Only it is just that you have planned the event without a press, you would not want to get the whole thing to the rough bell, but just come into conversation with your own readers. I nodded.

Before I left, I turned back to the editor-in-chief, which stood in the midst of a small grupp of readers. The mood there was friendly. I interrupted the ongoing conversation: "Mr. Brinkbaumer, unfortunately I have to go to the train. Were you ready to answer some questions in the coming days by e-mail?" Brink tree, surrounded by his readers, looked at me with a serious expression, nodded respectfully and attacked in his jacket pocket to give me his business card: "no problem. It is also the telephone number on it." I took the card, thanked me and went.

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