"Doner Killings” Expose the Weakness of Media In Confronting German Racism
Tuesday 29 November 2011 | Administrator MiM
Shocking revelations about a neo-Nazi group in Germany that for ten years engaged in a murderous campaign of violence killing at least ten people has provoked an angry debate about how right-wing extremism as well as racism and xenophobia still infect German society.
For a decade the Zwickau neo-Nazi terror cell, which called itself the National Socialist Underground, carried out a ruthless campaign of targeted killings and armed robberies involving the deaths of nine men of Turkish and Greek origin and a 22-year-old policewoman.
There has been massive criticism in recent days of the negligence and incompetence of police and security services who failed to prevent the murders. There is also anger over the misleading line of inquiry – actively promoted by media – that the murders were the result of infighting among migrant criminal gangs and originated from Turkey.
Equally troubling are claims that government money – totalling hundreds of thousands of Euro – was paid to neo-Nazi informers by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, and ended up funding activities of the far-right.
While media commentators have solemnly warned politicians against kneejerk reactions, such as banning the far right National Democratic Party (NPD), journalists themselves are coming in for criticism over their reporting of the affair with claims that they downplayed the story and were guilty of latent racism in their coverage.
All media, including the respected news magazine Der Spiegel, referred to the murder spree which began in 2000 as the “doner killings,” in the process creating distance from the community at large, dehumanising the victims and feeding the lie that these gruesome murders were the work of outsiders.
Media Diversity Institute
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