Switch off reader comments?

More and more leading journalists are looking forward to the confidence crisis of the media in connection with the Ukraine conflict. Some even suggest to abolish reader comments

What the medium magazine in its current edition is rather incidentally enthused, the stuff has to redire the current debate on the loss of trust of the leading media. Mirror author Christian Neef, who has been reporting for the leaf from Ukraine and Russia and whose articles were violently criticized by many readers in recent months, says there:

Such a massive criticism like this year I have never experienced. Loss of trust? There is sure that. (…) The internet forums are a chapter for itself. (…) online media such as mirrors online are now accepting that the reports of their correspondents are simply picked up on the text in the forums following the text in the forums and referred to as untrue, they desavouze their own employees and provide them without providing their own employees to the shitstorm. I asked the colleagues at Spiegel Online because of certain texts I write to switch off the comment feature – as do other websites already do long. A wildlife debate on the net, even if she is roughly filtered, is not really helpful. On the contrary, it does not just lead to the writing journalists on growing uncertainty, but also with senior editors also at the beginning of the self.

Christian Neef

The argumentation of the mirror man is remarkable. Neef observed that the ongoing reading critics slowly show effect on individual journalists – and liked exactly that. But why actually? Is not it ending around the reader? Is this not the Souveran in an open media society?

Even within the mirror, resistance to NEFS is now stimulating. Under prescribed hand it is called from the editorial staff, behind the exercises of the Russian Correspondent stage "a mindset, the Walter Ulbricht once brought on the formula, you can do not leave the things to the self-run ‘". The Pointe: Neef has grown up in the GDR, was in the 1980s correspondent of the GDR broadcasting in Moscow, but since the turner has been in the mirror and profiled there for many years before all things with massive Russia criticism. He was also the term "Puzzle" 2011 for the first time in a headline.

However, NEF is not alone with the demand after retirement of the comment function. So Gunther says nunnery, one of the publishers of the FAZ, in the interview with the medium magazine now:

Frank Schirrmacher and I had the meantime that one should turn off the comment on the whole. For topics like Gaza war we also do that, because we did not want to have anti-Semitic insults on our website, for whose content we are lively responsible. We also have to do if you want to make comments that you want to provide comments and creates your own community, so that everyone who likes to contribute to a topic, pay for the publication of his comment – and be it only one euro. (…) that one creates a community with club character for the comments, that’s a serious option.

Gunther nunnery

Comment against bares, or at least in a closed "Club"? If you are currently looking at the reader forums in the Suddeutsche Zeitung since September this year (there can no longer be commented directly under the articles: between readers and lobbynet networks), then at least the direct consequences of such a separation of the comments can be observed. At the SZ, the number of readers postings is massively inflicted after the conversion of the forums, even without payment binding. Often she moves only in the lower double-digit area. In view of this, some sarcastically wondered if the remaining readers of the leading media should now be distributed with violence.

Everything controlled?

Guided journalists justify their rejection of reading critics again and again with the accusation of this "controlled". So writes about Mirror author Christian Neef:

It can not be that German media under the prere of hatebloggers or controlled propaganda campaigns to stop their correspondents to report different about Russia or Ukraine.

Christian Neef

And FAZ-co-editor Nunn maker says:

There are many honest worried readers’ scripts, including many old people with war reminders. And more often often criticize the US policy. But it is obviously a concerted action at the factory, recognizable in almost the same emails that uplift the online fores. In such comments, no lively democracy is reflected.

Gunther nunnery

Same sense wrote SZ-Aubressortkef Kornelius the author of this text shortly:

The Suddeutsche is not a charger for troll-controlled propaganda goods.

"Controlled propaganda campaigns", "Concerted action", "Troll-controlled", what’s going on there? The country’s alpha journalists now all gone under the conspiracy theorists? Surely there are controlled campaigns in online fores, and indeed alleged by very different political sites. But do the cited media professionals seriously believe that the majority of critical comments in the reader forums of their newspapers is part of a staging Sinistrer Prorussian?

Apparently, at least that the now frequent critical readers are perceived as a threat. In a contribution to the media confidence crisis of the media, Hans Leyendecker now shot, resort manager investigative research at the Suddeutsche Zeitung, in the print edition of the SZ a broad side against the readers:

Good journalism must, at least when it comes to research, be completely outstanding. But are readers?? Everyone wants the reader to the truth? (…) There are deficits in the media and there are deficits in readers. It’s not easy to find people who have something new to say and there are not so many people who want to know something new. (…) There are clickers who believe they are unshieved because of the clicks thanks to the clicks far more than about the foreign correspondent.

Hans Leyendecker

In fact, some believe that – there leyendecker certainly right. The question is but maybe: always believe it wrong?

Thanks to commentary function, readers today can identify with many media today if you hold a reader comment for particularly smart or consideration. That more and more observers now individual reader postings often appear more interesting than the article about it, does not necessarily have to speak for the lack of ignorance – it could instead be understood as a poverty of the affected journalists.

Ultimately, it is about interpretation power and thus about short or long too direct power. Who explains the world and which explanations are widespread? In the past week, the media scientist Bernhard porksen commented the debate like this:

Media distributor is fashionable. Media are considered war drivers, propagandamers and scandal profitors, journalists as corrupt. (…) What is the reason? The answer: It does not exist, this one reason. Media and false affairs, the boulevardization of reporting, negativeism of news, the influence of PR agencies and lobby organizations – all the alleged or actual burrs and missing ammunitions ammunition.

Bernhard porks

But in this analysis, which also quotes Leyendecker in his comment, a lot under the table – forevit the currently again and again formulated discomfort of many readers in the face of such perceived one-sided and fold-out reporting of the leading media to the Ukrainekonflact. The political debate about this topic can probably be considered as the actual catalyst for a mood, which now leads to a book entitled "Bought journalists" Currently on # 5 of the bestseller list is. His author Udo Ulfkotte (whose factual mistakes and exercises Stefan Niggeier has summarized here) does not lead any further. Because the book is not the cause of discomfort and mistrust of many readers, but merely his expression.

Better, it was finally substantial and self-critical to work up the Ukraine enforcement of this year in a large public media forum. Are that really everything "failure", "Mishap" and "Experiments" In the editors? Has the antirussian journey in the comments really so nothing with the intertwining of editorials like Josef Joffe (the time), Stefan Kornelius (SZ), Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger (FAZ) etc. to do with transatlantic networks, as the media scientist Uwe Kruger describes in his dissertation?

When will the debate be guided now?

But before this debate, the editor-in-chiefs continue to shy away. Time author Jochen Bittner, for example, whose intertwining the ZDF cabaret "The institution" In the early year, a million audience brought note (and then sued by Bittner) although now in a forum contribution to Telepolis, "The networking of journalists with Think tanks was worth a serious debate very well". But when will this debate be guided on the sides of the time?

Bittner reported this text at the author of this text this week and presented his view of his views in private correspondence, in the sound friendly, with compliments for the previous article (harmony or multiplication?) he as "Fair and balanced" designated. However, when the privacy exchanges, official questions were sent to him as part of the research in the scope of the research for this article, he rejected their answers. The tone became frosty. His buried now: He gives Telepolis "In principle, no interviews". Have the magazine "A clear campaign orientation", underlaid "Basal journalistic standards" and "allowed, yes, in my view even grossly insulting comments". And further: "I will not support this kind of shitstorm journalism through interviews". With questions, one should contact the editor-in-chief of time. Then Telepolis presented the same questions there:

1. According to his own words, Mr. Bittner is ready to talk to the ZDF institution. But why do not let the time the media scientist Dr. Uwe Kruger with his criticism of the influence of elite networks on the leading media, which was the basis of the ZDF cabaret, to speak directly in his own leaf?

2. According to Bittner, the time is already taking part in the debate on the media confidence crisis with the contribution of Mr. Porksen. But this article argues again in the spirit of time. What is that for a debate if de facto always gets the same page?

3. In the time they have been a category under the title "Consistence of the week". This should be based on the words Bittners "Refuse the plausibility of geared intensification theories". Why is not a Pro and Contra part of this category? Why is – in turn – only one side, a viewing angle in time presents?

But on direct demand at a corporate speaker of the time, referenced Bittner, the sheet was not ready to answer these questions. Interest in dialogue? Erroneous. The only constitant that Bittner made was the statement that he from today’s perspective "on the article on the Gauck speech did not co-wrote at all". But if not actually the participation of a journalist at a Lobby’s working group for influencing German sub-policy a mistake, he did not want to comment (chaos at time online: times the Ethics Code, he does not apply). However, it’s wrong with journalists.

Mind you: Nobody claims to say all leading journalists "bought" or part of a conspiracy. But the existing varied elite networks with a clear political orientation are too real, as that one could dismiss a debate on their influence as an irrelevant.

The current proposals for the reimbursement of the readers are now in the opposite direction – to less openness and a stronger opinion control or. Exclusion of deviating views. Should this trend continue, the public displeasure and the reciprocal premieges will probably encourage even further.

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