Connection of media and politics

Free media are an important part of any democracy but populists denounce for political reasons.

Free and independent media have a central and irreplaceable task in a democracy. The television, press, and radio inform people independently of the parties and state and thus contribute to their opinion-forming. In Germany, this role is anchored in the Basic Law. More and more often, however, fighting terms such as “lying press” and “fake news” are used by populist mood makers to denounce quality media all over the globe. Time and again, social media offer the platform on which one-sided and extreme views are often put on contrary facts.

On the other hand, businesses such waterproof car cover manufacturers have used media to introduce their products or services.

The media as a controlling body for state and politics

As a supervisory authority over political events, the various media play a central role in every democracy. That is why the degree of freedom of the press is often used as an indicator of the democratization of a state. In the Anglo-Saxon and French tradition, there is often even talk of the “fourth power” in a constitutional state. The free media are thus placed on the same level as the three state powers – executive, judicial, and legislative. This designation is misleading, however, since the free media are not an organ of the rule of the law, they do not exercise state authority and, accordingly, their role does not resemble to a state function.

In Germany, the freedom of the press, which is prominently anchored in the Basic Law, guarantees the media censorship-free reporting.

The central role of the press in informing the population worldwide and in Germany is underlined by the statutory right of journalists to receive information from the state. State institutions must answer questions from the press, regardless of whether they belong to the federal government, the state, or the local authority. This includes parliaments, courts, authorities as well as the police.

Help against fake news

The federal government provides detailed information about fake news and how it can be identified with fact checks, for example. But other initiatives have also committed to clarification.

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