17 mar 2023 5:51 p.m
Demonstrations are reported in Russia and Germany. In Germany, however, everything that does not fit into the picture of the prevailing narrative falls under the carpet. In Russia it is different. The reporting is more neutral and, above all, more confident.
The differing reporting on demonstrations in Europe illustrates the imbalance and the lack of effort by the major German media to be objective. In particular, the comparison with reporting in the Russian media is surprising in this respect, because in contrast to the German mainstream there are fewer omissions there.
You can show that with the example of Georgia. There, German journalism repeats the mistakes of its one-sided reporting in Ukraine in 2014. The fact that a relevant part of the Ukrainian population was not drawn towards the EU and that it did not agree with the unconditional turn of the Maidan demonstrators to the West came to the fore surprising the media consumers who had only obtained their information from the mainstream. It just hadn’t been reported.
This is now being repeated in Georgia. Because while there were extensive reports on the protests against a law that wanted to oblige organizations operating in Georgia that are financed from abroad to disclose, the report on the counter-demonstration was omitted.
This was reported by Russian television. There was a demonstration in which, among other things, the EU flag hanging in front of the Georgian Parliament was torn down and burned. The burning of national flags is a punishable offense in Georgia, it was also learned in passing. The perpetrators face a heavy fine.
Why an EU flag is hanging in front of the Georgian parliament, however, remains a mystery. Georgia is not a member of the EU. However, it is important to note that the Georgians, like the Ukrainians, do not all want rapprochement with the EU. German media sweep this fact under the carpet.
They also sweep under the carpet the memorial march of Waffen-SS veterans in Riga, which takes place on March 16 every year. Russian television reports extensively about it. The demonstrators are protected by the police. From what remains unclear, one is among like-minded people.
In all, only one person was provisionally arrested. That was the only publicly speaking counter-demonstrator: a deputy who sits on the city council in the Latvian city of Jelgava for the Latvian Russian Union party.
The Nazi march is enjoying increasing popularity. Real veterans are hardly represented anymore for biological reasons. What gathers there every year in increasing numbers are simply neo-Nazis.
Of course, that doesn’t fit with the EU’s self-perception and the talk of Western values. The #noAfD faction and the Antifa are also surprisingly quiet about the goings-on in the Baltic States. When asked about it, come hell or high water is put into perspective. Nazis are everywhere, it is said, only in Russia do they sit in the government, left-liberal circles in Germany believe. So actually everything is fine in the EU, just not in Russia, let them march on.
It has to be said in this context that reports of torchlight processions in the Ukraine decorated with fascist symbols are also not mentioned in Germany. This is of course reflected in the Russian media.
German media are also reporting on the protests in France over the pension reform. But the tone is different. In Germany, reference is made to demographic change and to the fact that there is no other way. There had been riots and clashes between demonstrators and security forces. Security forces sounds reassuring. Russian television shows images of the police violence there.
Police violence is a widespread problem in the EU. Not only France, Germany too has had to be criticized for excessive violence. One may compare the images with those of demonstrations in Russia or Belarus. No water cannons, no tear gas, no injuries. At the same time, the German media never tires of pointing out the brutal police violence in Russia, which, however, they cannot substantiate with photographic material. They should direct their gaze to the EU and they will find what they are looking for.
In Moldova, too, people have been taking to the streets for weeks. The reason is simple: inflation is at 30 percent, energy prices are exploding, and the EU-friendly government wants to become independent of Russian gas supplies. In Moldova, too, not everyone longs to enter the well-groomed garden called the EU.
Russian gas deliveries also had the advantage that Russia was always very accommodating when it came to Moldova’s payment delays. Western suppliers will handle this differently. In any case, energy prices are going through the roof in Moldova and people are taking to the streets. They are demanding the resignation of President Maia Sandu.
While people in Moldova, already one of the poorest countries in Europe, have a specific reason to take to the streets, people in Georgia are protesting against a law that has no impact on their standard of living. But while the German media in Moldova see Russia at work pulling the strings in the background, the suspicion of external interference in Georgia is dismissed as a conspiracy theory.
The EU made 9.2 million euros available to Georgia immediately after the repeal of the Transparency Act. This is intended to make civil society resilient. The organizations now do not have to disclose the cash flow. It remains unclear that the EU is interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs.
All in all: Russian media were not banned in the EU and Germany because they spread so much misinformation, but simply because they offer the broader journalism that shows the one-sidedness of German reporting and would limit its propaganda impact. Russian media, at least currently, do better journalism.
more on the subject – Double standard: good in the EU, bad in Georgia – obligation to register “foreign agents”
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