Germany. Attacks to journalists tripled in 2018

Out of the 26 assaults occurring, all but four were perpetrated by right-wing extremists or so-called ‘concerned citizens’

A report authored by ECPMF’s Pauline Betche – ‘Concept of the Enemy: Journalist‘ – shows that physical attacks against journalists in Germany largely resulted from the ‘lying press’ insults spewed by this country’s political far-right, and their related protests.

In fact, out of the 26 assaults occurring against journalists in Germany in 2018, all but four were perpetrated by right-wing extremists, or by the so-called ‘concerned citizens’ of the right wing. At demonstrations – where 20 of the attacks happened, nine in just one day in the eastern German city of Chemnitz – it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell those two groups apart.

What is more astonishing is that after a downward trend of attacks against journalists in 2016 and 2017, the number tripled in 2018. 

According to the ECPMF report, the massive gathering of far-right extremists in 2018 in Chemnitz (which is not very far away from Leipzig, where the ECPMF is located) played an important role in channeling the right-wing ‘lying press’ discourse into action: namely, assaulting journalists who were covering right-wing demonstrations. The graph below, taken from the study, clearly shows that over the last four years, the annual number of physical attacks against journalists has followed the size of right-wing demonstrations in Germany. ASP

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