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Reports About Russia Under the Microscope: German Media Bashes Best

The latest analysis of Russophobia in media by RIA Novosti once again gives the title to the Germans

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Originally Appeared at Sputnik Deutschland. Translated from the German by Kay Olms

In a new study, whose publication is close to becoming a tradition, RIA Novosti has once again put all of the global publications on the topic of Russia under the microscope, and has come to the conclusion that the Germany is again the clear winner when it comes to negative hysteria surrounding Russia.

RIA Novosti had already published a similar study in early February, with a list of Russia bashers. At that time, Germany was clearly leading, with its 162 negative and moderately negative articles and reports between February 1st to February 7th. Germany was followed closely Poland and Sweden.

For this week's study, publications between February 8-14 were examined. The results, once again, showed the incredible persistence of the German media:

Again, Germany ended up first place with 30 negative (n.) and 202 moderately negative (m.n.) articles. Bashing-Silver was awarded to the United Kingdom (11 n., 48 m.n.) and Bronze went to Austria. With only 10 significantly negative articles and with about 47 'moderately' negative publications, Austria would be placed behind Poland (16 n., 22 m.n.) and Ukraine (16 n., 5 m.n.); however, they managed to secure third place.

So the most diligent among the global media were the Germans: The ARD leads with its 27 negative and moderately negative reports within one week. With 26 its articles, the FAZ has passed up its traditional first place standing. FAZ is closely followed by the Deutsche Welle (22), Deutschlandradio (21), the Süddeutsche Zeitung (20), and Die Welt (19). It is worth noting that one has to arrive at the ninth place before one reaches a non-German-speaking newspaper, the French Le-Figaro (19).

Although the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) wasn't able to secure Gold in the most recent bashing-race, it has still done a bang-up job this week, ideologically speaking, and it certainly deserves a consolation prize: "The idealogy of freedom versus the desire to rule" is how a FAZ columnist sees the West and Russia. Their principles "collided" at the security conference in Munich.

On February 13th the colunmnist wrote:

"On the one hand, there are the countries of the West, whose policies and actions beyond classic power-politics are always done with freedom as an ideology, by an open society and self-realization, and that's exactly why millions of young people are encouraged in their desire for freedom. On the other hand, there is a rule-oriented Russia, which is currently missing a base for values in its society."

Besides that, Russia "makes a pact" with "one of the worst regimes of the modern world", which obviously refers to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and attempts to "destabilize the West in a perfidious way", with controlled online propaganda (Does the FAZ mean Sputnik?) and "millions of funding for radical populists".

So much for objective reporting, that is "always done with freedom as an ideology", as the author himself expressed.

All in all, activity of the media concerning the topic of Russia has increased by 23 percent since February 7th (about 400 articles more than in the last study the previous week), whereby the majority of the publications drew a sinister image of Russia.

Leonid Slutsky, Chairman for the CIS Committee in the Russian State Duma, had this to say on Wednesday: "It's our task to stop the deformation of Russia's image abroad. With the help of Western propaganda our country is portrayed as an aggressor and outsider in European politics. All of this also has a negative impact on the processes in the country."

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