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Germany: Press is admonished for unbalanced reporting on gender equality issues

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  • Germany: Press is admonished for unbalanced reporting on gender equality issues

    Copied from an article in

    In an unprecedented step, senior academics and a vocal male rights campaigner have joined forces in Germany to issue an open letter to the German media. Professor Dr. Gunter Buchholz, Dr. Alexander Ulfig, and Arne Hoffmann of Genderama, published on January 10th an open letter to the German Press, on various websites.

    The full original letter in German is published on
    Auf Deutsch: Offener Brief an den Deutschen Presserat — Fur eine ausgewogene Berichterstattung zur Gleichstellungspolitik

    An unofficial English translation follows:
    We, the signatories of the open letter, are writing to you because we are concerned about the reporting of the German mainstream media policies on gender equality. For years, the public has been confronted almost daily with very one-sided articles on the gender equality policy, in particular the women's quota.

    We observe with concern how the mainstream media acts as a stooge of the gender equality policy and thus serves the interests of certain groups. The same phrases and slogans are repeatedly used like a mantra, such as "The proportion of women must be increased," "We need more women in leadership positions," "women have to do more than men, to make a career," "women earn 23% less than men," "There is a glass ceiling that prevents women from making a career," "the old-boys network hinders the career advancement of women," etc.

    For these oft-repeated statements in phrases and slogans there is one word: propaganda.

    Critical voices on equality and quota policy in the mainstream media are extremely rare, although there are now a wide range of well-argued counter-positions.

    However, they are ignored or deliberately suppressed.

    Reporting on gender equality policy is characterized by the spread of misinformation. As examples the spread of long proven to be false allegations of a 23 percent wage difference (gender pay gap) between men and women and the myth of a "glass ceiling".

    Particular emphasis is in the German mainstream media for years the proportion of women propagated. The number of pro-quota articles is in blatant disproportion to Contra-rate articles. The latter represent exceptions.

    A particularly infamous role is played in this context by the organization ProQuote, which campaigns for a women's quota in the editorial offices of the German mainstream media. For ProQuote does not count performance and qualifications, but gender as a relevant criterion in filling vacancies. It operates an open lobbying. The lobbying of ProQuote contradicts the fundamental principles of journalistic work, without which this organization would have been reprimanded by the "German Press".

    A bad habit that has unfortunately also spread in the leading media is the slander of critics of gender equality policies. They are denounced as extremists and politically on the right. The defamation replaces - and this is revealing - a reasoned, comprehensible criticism which would be welcome - like every serious criticism. The practice of denunciation and defamation also contradicts the fundamental rules of journalistic work.

    The reporting to the equalization policy contradicts therefore basic principles of the journalistic work of which we would like to remind in the following.

    First, part of a free press and a liberal press reporting that contradictory opinions be permitted - if possible with their justifications. To avoid one-sidedness in the process of public opinion formation is the principle that the other side should be heard and taken into consideration; this contributes significantly to the quality and fairness of the process.

    To work as a journalist and journalistic ethos in our opinion, include the following principles: objectivity, ideological neutrality, the separation of news and belief and message and comment, independence, impartiality, balance and accountability. Adherence to these principles guarantees an approximation of the reality and objective reporting.

    In addition, only diversity in the reporting guarantees the best possible approximation to reality. Different perspectives should be represented on an equal footing into the mainstream media. Only the competition of different perceptions and the critical and very objective discussion between them can overcome one-sidedness in the reporting of equalization policies.

    Further, journalists should follow the enlightened thinking and see themselves as the fourth, critical power in the state. Therefore, it is the task of journalists to stubbornly illuminate criticism of the prevailing gender policies rather than just doing advertisements for them.

    Equality policies should not assume, but would have to be scrutinized, analysed and viewed from different critical perspectives to, firstly, provide factual information to the public and, secondly, to stimulate informed public judgement.

    Critical journalism also requires that journalists reflect and consider their own partiality and take it into consideration: those who already have a certain political position reflected in their content, are especially obliged to give differently-minded people a voice.

    Many of these principles are included the "Press Code" of the "German Press Council". Unfortunately, they are not respected by many journalists regarding the reporting on gender equality policy. We therefore call on you to perceive the above-mentioned shortcomings and to take action against them.

    In particular we invite you to stop the machinations of ProQuote. The work of ProQuote should be recognized as a pure lobbying, which contradicts the fundamental principles of journalistic work.
    The number of Internet sites repeating this open letter to the press should mean that by the end of the week, almost everyone in Germany, most people in Europe and many people around the world will know of the media bias and what is needed to correct it.

    Arne Hoffmann has read the above translation and pointed his readers to it. He also has reported that, already, a German magazine has picked up on the story.
    Auf Deutsch / In German : Genderama: Brief an Deutschen Presserat zieht erste Kreise
    Letter to German Press Council starts circulating
    The open letter to the German press council, placed online by professor Dr. Gunter Buchholz, Dr. Alexander Ulfig and me, was published yesterday and has already appeared in the liberal magazine Peculiarly Free as well as in English translation.
    Last edited by Douglas; 01-11-2014, 09:37 AM.

  • #2
    I very much doubt this will do anything other than get a few minutes of coverage and then be forgotten.
    There is not a single thing in the letter that can not simply be dismissed without further consideration. It is little more than desperate pleading which is not likely to sway those who do not even accept hard evidence for the things he references.

    Until we take off the damn kiddie gloves and start throwing some proper punches, nothing will get done.


    • #3
      Arne has informed me that the translation on has been adopted as the official English translation and is included on the 'Frankfurt Declaration' web site, under the German version.

      The German Men's Rights Movement is noticeably growing in power and influence and this kind of non-violent protest, showing an attack on the very foundations of what free-thinking people know is important for a fair society, could have a surprisingly important influence in Germany.
      Last edited by Douglas; 01-11-2014, 05:19 PM.


      • #4
        Well, I am glad it's getting some exposure, hopefully it will have a domino effect. (wishful thinking i know)
        "You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." - Marcus Aurelius

        "Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability." - Marcus Aurelius

        "Draw from your past, but do not let your past draw from you." - Bra'tac of Chulak (Stargate SG-1)


        • #5
          This should be on the main page of AVFM and on the European satellites.

          I guess I have to work now. Thank you Douglas.
          My IRC chat server:

          Or, for those who don't know how to IRC, click here:


          • #6
            And, up it goes on the main page:
            My IRC chat server:

            Or, for those who don't know how to IRC, click here:


            • #7
              Nope, it is not up yet
              Feminism: a bowel movement.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lucian-Valsan View Post
                Still "page not found."

                This translation has now been adopted at the official English version on the central German website being used to promote the issue.


                • #9
                  In today's German magazine Der Spiegel, is an there is an interview with the signatories about their open letter to the German Press on one-sided sexism.

                  (Der Spiegel was first published in 1947 and like many magazines has declined in its paper circulation while picking up digital subscribers. It is estimated to have a readership of over one million.)

                  In the conversation Professor [URL=""]G