Is Germany’s media to blame for the inexorable rise of the AfD? | Ben Knight
As Seen In - The Guardian

Is Germany’s media to blame for the inexorable rise of the AfD? | Ben Knight

The way journalists do business with politicians – being spoonfed – is a cosy arrangement that invites disruption

Political journalists in Berlin often do a thing called Hintergrundgespräch. This “background conversation” involves gathering in an airless room of a ministry or a party headquarters with a group of favoured colleagues and some alpha politician who then tells you what’s what. Or what’s really what. The mood is relaxed and pally. Recording devices are not allowed, and although notes may be taken, direct quotes can’t be used. Free drinks are provided. The first time I went to a Hintergrundgespräch, not long ago, a heavy realisation dawned on me: this is why people hate us. This is why people vote for the far-right AfD. It looks a lot like a cosy arrangement: journalists being spoonfed their stories by politicians.

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