#PresseKodex12.1 (2017 version change)

it must be ensured that any reference to a suspect’s or perpetrator’s membership of ethnic, religious or other minority groups does not result in a discriminatory generalisation of individual misconduct.”

GUIDELINE 12.1 REPORTING ON CRIMES When reporting on crimes, it must be ensured that any reference to a suspect’s or perpetrator’s membership of ethnic, religious or other minority groups does not result in a discriminatory generalisation of individual misconduct. As a rule, membership of a minority group shall not be mentioned, unless this is in the legitimate interest of the general public. In particular, it must be borne in mind that such references could stir up prejudices against minorities. [PresseKodex2017]

Google search points to old version from 2017This is a hard-to-find new version PresseKodex2017, changed March 2017. But a search on Google still points only to the old 2013 version. The change seems so irrelevant that the proper German Presserat still has not removed, or updated its old version English Version of PresseKodex1 with a link, or watermark  by today, April 2, 2019.

We keep quoting the old version, we consider it more honest, and in fact it is widely obeyed

German Press Code Old version

GUIDELINE 12.1 REPORTS ON CRIMES When reporting crimes, it is not permissible to refer to the suspect‘s religious, ethnic or other minority membership unless this information can be justified as being relevant to the readers‘ understanding of the incident. In particular, it must be borne in mind that such references could stir up prejudices against minorities


The new text states that “the journalist should be careful when reporting on criminality that mentioning the suspect’s ethnic or religious identity does not lead to a general discrimination based on one individual’s actions.” [Source] […]

The non-binding guidelines previously stated that the ethnicity or religion of a criminal or the suspect in a police investigation should only be stated when it “can be justified as being relevant to the reader’s understanding of the incident.” [Source]

German press rules on mentioning criminal’s ethnicity changed…

23 March 2017

The German Press Council on Wednesday eased slightly the rules about mentioning the religious or ethnic background of a criminal suspect.

The non-binding guidelines previously stated that the ethnicity or religion of a criminal or the suspect in a police investigation should only be stated when it “can be justified as being relevant to the reader’s understanding of the incident.”

But after hundreds of women reported being sexually assaulted by men of North African appearance over New Year 2015-16 in Cologne, newspapers began to call for a review of the code.

Social media did not have enought censorship and hate speech control, so the truth became known, in spite of the media’s  mandate to hide the truth:

Nonetheless the new guidelines do not stray far from the wording of the original.

The new text states that “the journalist should be careful when reporting on criminality that mentioning the suspect’s ethnic or religious identity does not lead to a general discrimination based on one individual’s actions.”

The idea is still the same, the citizen is not mature and responsible, s/he cannot be trusted with the entire truth

“In general ethnicity should not be mentioned unless there is a plausible public interest in doing so,” the new guideline continues.

Of course, sincerity.net argues that there is always a public interest in knowing the truth, and about understanding important patterns, like Pakistani Muslims raping and abusing white Christian children 2

The credibility of several national media organizations was called into question in the aftermath of the Cologne sexual assaults after they failed to report on the events in Cologne until several days later.

Newspapers themselves blamed the delay in reporting on the police, who also often follow the press code when writing reports on criminality.

Our observation, too.

Supporters of the previous guidelines maintained that they were necessary to ensure that negative stereotypes about ethnic minorities were not perpetuated. But critics said that they stopped the press from reporting important details of a crime and detracted from press credibility in the public’s eyes.


PresseKodex 12.1 old and new versions/ German

Deutscher Presserat  Postfach 100549  10565 Berlin Fon: 030/367007-0  Fax: 030/367007-20  E-Mail: info@presserat.de  www.presserat.de Berlin, 22.03.2017

Neue Richtlinie

12.1 – Berichterstattung über Straftaten (Gültig ab 22.03.2017) In der Berichterstattung über Straftaten ist darauf zu achten, dass die Erwähnung der Zugehörigkeit der Verdächtigen oder Täter zu ethnischen, religiösen oder anderen Minderheiten nicht zu einer diskriminierenden Verallgemeinerung individuellen Fehlverhaltens führt. Die Zugehörigkeit soll in der Regel nicht erwähnt werden, es sei denn, es besteht ein begründetes öffentliches Interesse. Besonders ist zu beachten, dass die Erwähnung Vorurteile gegenüber Minderheiten schüren könnte.

Bisherige Richtlinie

12.1 – Berichterstattung über Straftaten In der Berichterstattung über Straftaten wird die Zugehörigkeit der Verdächtigen oder Täter zu religiösen, ethnischen oder anderen Minderheiten nur dann erwähnt, wenn für das Verständnis des berichteten Vorgangs ein begründbarer Sachbezug besteht. Besonders ist zu beachten, dass die Erwähnung Vorurteile gegenüber Minderheiten schüren könnte.

FOOTNOTES

  1. German Press Code: Guidelines for journalistic work as recommended by the German Press Council
  2. “Police did not want to appear racist”, thus let 1400 children be …

    Up to 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham. Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of …

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