Sloppy SpOn


Spiegel Online has earned a reputation for hyping up their articles with blatantly sensationalist and biased headlines. Latest exhibit is an interview with ZEIT’s Asian correspondent Georg Blume who has just had to leave Tibet. Blume gives a very careful and balanced report, warning against the predominant picture of Chinese security forces as a trigger-happy bunch of brutal suppressors. Most significant quote: “Fest steht für mich, dass man bei diesen Protesten in Tibet nicht von einer blutigen Niederschlagung reden kann.” (“One thing is clear to me: With these protests in Tibet we cannot talk of a bloody crackdown.”) For the headline, the SpOn newsroom staff picked the only sentence in the interview that can be read to serve their prejudices, and even misquoted him with that, for good measure. Translation of the headline goes along the lines of: “The Raids Are An Ominous Sign” – which is true, of course, but by far not the most important message of the interview.


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