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Saxony Media Minister spoke about how German media shows the war in Ukraine

Saxony’s Media Minister and Head of the State Chancellery Oliver Schenk
Читати українською

Saxony Media Minister spoke about how German media shows the war in Ukraine.

In an interview, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, said to Radio NV that Germans do not want to hear the truth about the war in Ukraine.

The former ambassador is known for his harsh remarks about German politicians, particularly the prime Minister of the German state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, who suggested freezing Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

That’s why we tried to figure out: is the war in Ukraine covered enough in German media?

For this, Socportal met Saxony’s Media Minister and Head of the State Chancellery Oliver Schenk in Dresden.

We’ve asked Minister if there is a need for special media focusing on the war in Ukraine so that Germans could get first-hand news on this matter in one place.

Many (Germans, - ed.) are interested in the war use social media for more detailed information. So I am not sure that new media focusing uniquely on that war would find enough of a readership or audience to set them afloat from a business point of view, - says Minister Schenk.

We have been wondering if the Germans get enough information about the Russian war against Ukraine, in his opinion.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has been the dominant topic of media reporting over the last couple of weeks and months. There is much information, as we Europeans feel that this war is “very close to home” and we feel strong solidarity with Ukrainians, says Minister Schenk; - Also, the war affects us to differing degrees both directly and indirectly – we have many refugees from Ukraine in Germany, and the war and the sanctions against Russia also influence our politics and our daily lives in many areas and will continue to do so for years to come.

Minister thinks Germans get enough information about the Russian war against Ukraine; the issue is ever-present and predominant in our media outlets.

Which, of course, doesn’t mean that everyone follows the news equally or is interested in finding information, - adds Minister Schenk.

The investigative data also support the Minister’s position.

The Reuters Institute report Perceptions of media coverage of the war in Ukraine says that Germans are following the conflict closely.

Attention is very high in Germany, says the report, because it is both geographically close to the conflict and the effects are already filtering down to the lives of ordinary people – for example, in terms of energy prices.

But, the report states, that Germans have recently started to actively avoid the news.

We know that one of the main reasons people avoid the news is because of the negative effect it has on their mood, so it would be unsurprising if the profoundly depressing and concerning nature of conflict has caused more people to turn away from it - state the authors of the report.

The report concludes that newsrooms will be especially important as the conflict persists in refocusing efforts around explaining its broader implications. Clear ‘explainers’ and contextualization of the Russia–Ukraine conflict may draw in a segment of news avoiders who want more precise, more relevant information.

May it be the way for Germans wanting to hear the truth about the war in Ukraine?

Socportal met with German politicians and civil society representatives to find out how Germans feel about the war in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

Socportal talked to Yulia Kosyakova, a post-doctoral senior researcher at the Migration and International Labour Studies Department in the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), and to Journalist and Filmmaker Ralph Gladitz from Munich about Ukrainians in Germany. We also asked Munichman Andreas and Russian immigrant Alexandra about their perception of the war in Ukraine.

Socportal talked to Ulrich Hörning, Deputy Mayor for General Services of Leipzig, Germany, and Jan van Aken Former Member of the German Bundestag, about Ukrainian refugees in Germany. We also asked Rebecca Harms, the former Member of the European Parliament, about her perception of the war in Ukraine.

Recall that Oliver Schenk announced plans to open a representative office in Ukraine last year. Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar wrote about it.

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