Journalism in Germany: interview with Ulrike Schleicher
Ulrike Schleicher is a German journalist. Currently, she lives in Ulm and writes about local issues for the Südwest Presse, one of the most important regional newspaper in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Her work includes a-four-years international experience in Israel, where she has lived and fed the German press with information about the local life and the issues surrounding the Israeli and Palestinian people.
Many of her articles are published on Qantara, a German website that promotes the dialogue with the Islamic world, as well in Deutsche Welle and the German Press Agency — DPA. Below you can read an interview with Ulrike Schleicher about journalism in her country and her experience regarding these concerns.
Enio Moraes Júnior — From a political point of view, how did the Fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, interfere with German journalism?
Ulrike Schleicher — I cannot really answer this question since I was not yet a journalist in these times. I was just a student. But a few years later, we had meetings and seminars with colleagues from the east of Germany. I remember that we were wondering about their strange questions. For example, how to cover politics, what is appropriate, what is allowed? They simply were very cautious and a bit anxious. And I remember they had hard times since many of the newspapers were closed. Many people lost their jobs.
EMJ — Do you think that social media have changed journalism in Germany in the last 20 or 30 years? If so, how do you assess this change?
US — Of course. In the past, we would not react to Facebook comments about a certain topic. At least once in a while, we either reflect on the topic, or we cover the reactions from Facebook, just reporting what people say about it. But there is a big difference between online and print journalism: the first one is purely focused on the message. The latter tries to give background information and explain it.
EMJ — How do you rate the current journalistic production in Germany when it comes to the defence and protection of immigrants?
US — In 2015, when the so-called refugee crises in Europe happened, especially in Germany, the newspapers were flooded with this topic. Every day one could read…