DJV Contemplates AfD Warnings

DJV Contemplates AfD Warnings

The debate concerning the classification of the AfD party has seen the involvement of the German Association of Journalists (DJV). The DJV has called upon the media to reassess their reporting on the AfD. This call to action comes after the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution considered designating the entire AfD party as a “secure extremist effort”.

“If this becomes the official stance of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, we, as journalists must reconsider how we represent the AfD. It can no longer simply be described as one party among many,” The DJV federal chairman, Mika Beuster, stated in a press release. He suggests that the media should continually emphasize the extremist intentions of the party. “This must be an obvious warning, as clear as those found on cigarette packs,” Beuster demands.

There are several facets to the DJV chairman’s statement that warrant consideration. How prudent is it to make such a demand before the AfD has been more definitively classified as a “certain extremist”? What will be the impact on AfD protest voters who are not extremists or ethnic, but general warnings are considered for every report or comment about the AfD ahead of the upcoming state and European elections? How can such scenarios align with the requirement for neutral reporting?

Generally speaking, should these warning labels read “Caution, supporting the AfD can lead to authoritarian forms of government” or would it suffice to say “Classified as definitely extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution”? And do these considerations unintentionally reinforce the victim mentality frequently adopted by AfD sympathizers? This is a particularly timely question, given that even the Sunday evening talk on ARD with Caren Miosga does not exclude conversations with AfD politicians, in a bid to promote further dialogue and provide voters with neutral information.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of people are actively protesting against the rising tide of right-wing extremism. The DJV’s enthusiastic initiative, however, runs the risk of fostering louder accusations of dishonesty from the press.