Missing Link: FAZ on Facebook is like muesli at McDonald’s

The White House has been trumped, the exorcism has begun and will last longer, but at least the madman with the yellow hair has left his atomic suitcase unused. So the heading of the Missing Link two weeks ago has finally proven to be nonsense. And now a headline sounds like clickbait again, like two weeks ago when it said: “Free beer for everyone – Trump triggers world war with Linux”. What is that? – as people with a northern tongue would ask.

The headline should not only attract attention and give me the opportunity to write “free beer” in a headline for the first time during my work for heise online; it was also intended as a test of whether Google and its readers can be lured at all; I will come to the results later. In contrast to the one two weeks ago, today’s headline contains not just nonsense, but a thesis. I’ll get to that later too.

What is missing: In the fast-paced world of technology, there is often the time to rearrange the many news and backgrounds. At the weekend we want to take it, follow the side paths away from the current, try different perspectives and make nuances audible.

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First of all, as before, an exemplary reader contribution in the forum should serve to shed light on further questions that were raised two weeks ago:

“I recently read that, as always with the ARD, the new volunteers should simulate a kind of federal election in a secret ballot. They should vote for the party they would vote for now at a BTW. 92% voted in total for The Left, the Greens and the SPD. 92%. Even I didn’t want to believe it, but it was so blatant. “

The reader is evidently alluding to a “data project” carried out by volunteers last year in the association journal of the DJV Journalist has been published. All volunteers from ARD and Deutschlandradios were contacted in April 2020. 86 of the 150 people who were contacted took part. One of the questions in the data project showed that 57.1 percent would vote for Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, 23.4 percent for Die Linke, 11.7 percent for the SPD. In fact, this results in a proportion of 92.2 percent for a political orientation that is roughly assigned to the left spectrum, while surveys of the general population among people between the ages of 18 and 39 show such a proportion of more or less 50 Percent yields. However, in the “data project” 77 the volunteers had replied, which is why it can in no way be said that almost “all” young editors are “left” – apart from the fact that there are not a few people who continue the Greens today right than 20 years ago.

It is of course not the task of a reader in a forum to shed light on the figures; that is the responsibility of the journalists in reporting, who are after the Press code of the press council. According to this, they should provide “the number of respondents, the time of the survey, the client and the question” in surveys. “At the same time it must be stated whether the results are representative.” Surveys are not proof, but at most an indication of opinions and other tendencies in a population, if they meet certain requirements for statistical procedures. For example, in state and federal elections, the deviations of the surveys and forecasts from the actual result are regularly shown, and these can be considerable, such as the election of Donald Trump as US President.

The circumstances of the “data project” took place against this background the media magazine Übermedien illuminated and also the public echo it generated; up to the AfDwhich goes up to the assertion that what they call “state radio” is extremely left-leaning, failing to recognize that the state is currently not ruled in a left-leaning way – assuming the political spectrum mentioned above and also used by the AfD.

Can we expect a political party to exercise the same diligence as journalists are required by the press code? A party represents convictions and wants to convince people of their cause. As with surveys, it is up to journalists to test these convictions for their consistency and truthfulness. Public statements as well as party and election programs are suitable for this. The AfD believes that public broadcasting is “dominated by politics in a way that is unworthy of a democracy”. Instead of full coverage with a “compulsory fee”, the party demands a kind of pay TV.

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