This confirms our own anecdotal observation here at Russia Insider. We follow the German media, and it is almost comically, cartoonishly anti-Russian. It is no wonder that this has provoked a popular backlash among everyday Germans, and why the old 1830s Nazi term "Liar's Media", has become commonplace again.
This report originally appeared at Sputnik Deutschland. Translated by Paul Dunne for Russia Insider.
At least as far back as the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis last year, Western reporting on Russia has been marked by negative cliches. According to a Sputnik study, it is particularly German media who most frequently drag Russia through the mud.
Last week, Sputnik used Factiva and Google News to analyse over 35,000 print and on-line publications and TV programmes providing news in 25 languages. It turned out that the German media is among the leaders when it come to negative reporting.
In the "country rankings" the German press is placed second worldwide, excelled only by that of Ukraine. For example, from the 14th to 20th September this year, there appeared in Ukraine 21 negative articles about Russia, and in Germany nine.
The ten countries with the most anti-Russian media reports in a single week
The clear leader was the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", which in the course of the week published 19 negative to outspokenly-negative pieces on Russia. This paper, which is controlled by the "Fazit-Stiftung", attributed "paranoia and fear" to the Russian government and called on it "to stand in proper elections", and "to relax its complete control just a little bit". In the article "Banished by Putin" the impression is given that the new law on media, which limits foreign ownership of Russian publishing concerns to 20%, had in fact forbidden Springer Verlag to continue bsuiness in Russia.
As a matter of fact this internationally-active company was free to continue doing business in Russia, but declined to do so. The paper cited Ralph B¸chi, responsible for Springers foreign business, as saying that a minority share-holding was "not acceptable" to Springer.
In second place came the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" and the Austrian "Standard", each with twelve quite negative articles in the week. The "SZ" caught the eye of the researchers among other reasons for the article "With all means" about the latest local elections in Russia, in which it was suggested that "state-controleld media and groups close to the Kremlin" were conducting a "smear campaign" against the opposition.
The ten media sources worldwide with the most anti-Russian reports in a single week
The national radio broadcaster Deutschlandradio (German Radio), at seventh place with ten articles, and "Die Tageszeitung", holding 10th place with 8 articles, are also among the Top 10. The latter had, among other things, in the article "When the Kremlin allows voting", written of "shennanigans and fraud in many places". Deutschlandradio attacked the success of the Russian governing party "United Russia". Their headline "Un-democratic system congratulates itself" speaks for itself.
And so the bashing goes on, despite Angel Merkela only recently coming out in favour of partnership and a rebuilding of "constructive co-operation" with Russia.