by Swiss Propaganda Research
english translation by
Original German version
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system - and
yet hardly known to the public:
most of the international news
coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news
agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often
report on the same topics, even using the same wording.
In addition, governments,
military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as
multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European
newspapers clearly illustrates these issues:
78% of all
articles are based in whole or in part on agency reports,
yet 0% on investigative research
moreover, 82% of
all opinion pieces and interviews are in favor of the US and
NATO intervention, while propaganda is attributed
exclusively to the opposite side
"How does the
newspaper know what it knows?"
The answer to this
question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers:
"The main source of
information is stories from news agencies. The almost
anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to
So what are the names
of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To
judge how well one is informed about events in East and West,
one should know the answers to these questions."
1977, p. 11)
A Swiss media researcher
"The news agencies
are the most important suppliers of material to mass media.
No daily media outlet
can manage without them. So the news agencies influence our
image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have
(Blum 1995, p. 9)
In view of their
essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these
agencies are hardly known to the public:
"A large part of
society is unaware that news agencies exist at all … In fact,
they play an enormously important role in the media market. But
despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to
them in the past."
2013, p. 13)
Even the head of a news
"There is something
strange about news agencies. They are little known to the
public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the
spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the
2007, p. 9)
Nerve Center of the Media System"
So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the
source of the story"?
There are now only three
global agencies left:
Associated Press (AP)
with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US
media companies and has its main editorial office in New
York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media
outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population
quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse (AFP)
based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends
over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the
in London, which is privately owned and employs
just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by
Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson - one of the 25 richest
people in the world - and merged into Thomson Reuters,
headquartered in New York.
In addition, many
countries run their own news agencies.
However, when it comes to
international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies
and simply copy and translate their reports.
The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three
national agencies of the German-speaking countries of,
former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role
of news agencies with these words:
"News agencies are
rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most
influential and at the same time one of the least known media
They are key
institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They
are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this
abbreviation, great effect
However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite
their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public.
To quote a Swiss media
"Radio and television
usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can
decipher references in magazines."
(Blum 1995, P. 9)
The motive for this
discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not
particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched
most their contributions themselves.
The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in
popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations
we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective
News agencies as sources in newspaper articles
newspapers use agency material
but do not label it at all.
A study in 2011 from the
Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the
University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):
are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are
partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial
In addition, there is
a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort;
for example, visualization techniques are used:
agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and
presented as comprehensive reports."
The agencies play a
prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public
This is confirmed by
Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster
ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies
problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information
mainly from three sources:
the news agencies
DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British
and one French.
The editor working on
a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the
screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them
together with a few flourishes."
Swiss Radio and
Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these
Asked by viewers why a
peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors
"To date, we have not
received a single report of this march from the independent
agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."
In fact, not only the
text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we
encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same
What the uninitiated
audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper
or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and
Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of
resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an
agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the
internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007,
Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).
In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a
striking similarity in international reporting:
from Vienna to
Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many
of the same phrases - a phenomenon that would otherwise rather
be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.
The following graphic
shows some examples from German and international publications. As
you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight
(geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.
"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes",
concerned", "Assad stronghold":
Similarities in content and wording
reports by global news agencies.
The role of
Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they
have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign
But what about the big
daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international
countries, for example, these include newspapers such,
First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind:
while the global agencies
have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper
NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35
foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents).
In huge countries
such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all
of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in
even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.
Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On
the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from
cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus.
In addition, many
journalists lack the language skills to understand local people
How do correspondents
under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of
The main answer is once
from global agencies.
The Dutch Middle East
correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how
correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his
Like Us - Misrepresenting the Middle East":
correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment.
important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going
on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was
going on; that had been done long before. I went along to
present an on-the-spot report.
The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened,
they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in
my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for
This was the reason
my editors found it more important that I could be reached in
the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news
agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write
or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.
That's why you often come across the same images and stories if
you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news
Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington
bureaus - all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news
and that we were following the standards of the news agencies
The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the
story', but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a
stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked
that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put
it in its wrapping.
Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the
questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without
hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew
all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed
My friend had
realized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and
listening to on the news was pure theatre."
(Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)
In other words, the
typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent
research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are
already prescribed by the news agencies - the notorious "mainstream
In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays
have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within
individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several
publications - none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.
agency does not report, does not take place"
The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical
conflicts, most media use the same original sources.
In the Syrian war, for
example, the "Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights" - a dubious one-man
organization based in London - featured prominently.
The media rarely inquired
directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact
difficult to reach, even for journalists.
Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies,
which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in
turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers
The reason why the
agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in
their reporting - and who really financed it - is a question that
was rarely asked.
The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred
Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of
"A news story does
not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a
source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news
story more just because a source is cited.
Behind the protective
shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are
quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they
themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness.
at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source."
(Steffens 1969, p. 106)
Dependence on global
agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical
conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic
relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent.
As put by Steffens:
receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events
and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are
reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required."
(Steffens 1969, p. 32)
Finally, the dominance of
global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events
- which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are
too "unimportant" - are not mentioned in our media at all:
if the agencies do
not report on something, then most Western media will not be
aware of it.
As pointed out on the
occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA:
"What the agency does
not report, does not take place."
2000, p. 1)
While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics
are very prominent - even though they shouldn't actually be:
"Often the mass media
do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged
Several studies have
shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR
activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh
(Blum 1995, p. 16)
In fact, due to the
rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high
dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties
to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable
format to a worldwide audience.
DPA editor Steffens
warned of this danger:
"The critical sense
gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper
Someone who wants to
introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs
to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be
sure that it then appears a little later in the others.
Sometimes it happens
that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more
(Steffens 1969, p. 234)
Among the most active
actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the
military and defense ministries.
For example, in 2009, the
head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public
that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with
a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and
circulating targeted manipulations.
In addition, high-ranking
US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if
the journalists reported too critically on the US military.
Despite - or because of? - such threats our media regularly publish
dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US
Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for
German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq
war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the
"With the help of the
media, the military determine the public perception and use it
for their plans.
They manage to stir
expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new
kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill
a similar function as the bomber pilots.
departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the
secret services have become combatants in the information war.
The US military
specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for
their deception maneuvers.
The way they spread
information, which is then picked up and distributed by
newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers,
listeners or viewers to trace the original source.
Thus, the audience
will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military."
2003, p. 132)
What is known to the US
military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services.
In a remarkable report by
British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent
spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and
misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:
Former CIA officer
John Stockwell said of his work
in the Angolan war,
"The basic theme
was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola.
So any kind of
story that you could write and get into the media anywhere
in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my
staff in this task force were covert action, were
propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up
stories and finding ways of getting them into the press.
The editors in
most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages
that conform to general views and prejudices.
So we came up
with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. [But]
it was all fiction."
Fred Bridgland looked back on
his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency:
"We based our
reports on official communications.
It was not until
years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation
expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka (Zambia) and
composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to
Basically, and to
put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it
will get newspaper room."
And former CIA
David MacMichael described his
work in the
Contra War in Nicaragua with
"They said our
intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even
register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the
feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came
straight out of the toilet."
Of course, the
intelligence services also have a large number of
direct contacts in our media, which
can be "leaked" information to if necessary.
But without the central
role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of
propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.
Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR
experts working for governments, military and intelligence services
reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered.
The journalists refer to
the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources.
Although they often
attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent",
"alleged" and the like - by then the rumor has long been spread to
the world and its effect taken place.
The Propaganda Multiplier:
Governments, military and intelligence services
using global news agencies to disseminate
their messages to a worldwide audience.
As The New
York Times reported...
In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is
often used by media outlets around the world to report on
geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great
Britain and the US.
For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to
100 foreign correspondents and other external employees.
However, Middle East
correspondent Luyendijk points out:
"Dutch news teams, me
included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media
like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times.
We did that on the
assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world
and commanded a view of it - but many of them turned out not to
speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a
conversation in it or to follow the local media.
Many of the top dogs
at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker,
and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and
(Luyendijk p. 47)
In addition, the sources
of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military
circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials"
and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination
In any case, the
widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to
a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.
The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on
the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland,
The articles are all from
the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time
intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are
Frequent citation of British and US media,
exemplified by the Syria war coverage
Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger
The desired narrative
But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and
report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon
Middle East correspondent
Luyendijk describes his experiences:
"You might suggest
that I should have looked for sources I could trust.
I did try, but
whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies,
the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart.
Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different
stories about one and the same situation.
But the media could
only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the
story that confirmed the prevailing image."
Media researcher Noam
Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What
makes the Mainstream Media Mainstream" as follows:
"If you leave the
official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will
soon feel this. There are many ways to get you back in line
If you don't follow
the guidelines, you will not keep your job long.
This system works
pretty well, and it reflects established power structures."
Nevertheless, some of the
leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them
what to write.
How does this add up?
Media researcher Chomsky
clarifies the apparent
"[T]he point is that
they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that
nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say
the right thing.
If they had started
off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong
kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions
where they can now say anything they like.
They have been
through the socialization system."
"socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no
longer independently researches and critically reports on
geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to
consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials,
commentary, and interviewees.
The "First Law of Journalism"
Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First
Law of Journalism:
"In all press
systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise
political and economic power.
periodicals, radio and television stations do not act
independently, although they have the possibility of independent
exercise of power."
(Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)
In that sense, it is
logical that our traditional media - which are predominantly
financed by advertising or the state - represent the geopolitical
interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the
advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are
dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security
In addition, our leading media and their key people are - in the
spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" - often themselves part of the
networks of the transatlantic elite.
Some of the most
important institutions in this regard include,
See in-depth study of
The American Empire and its Media.
Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as
This is because, in the
past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given
significant entry barriers such as,
It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been
broken to some extent.
Thus, in recent years a
high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often
outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some
of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large
audience, showing that the "mass" does not have to be a problem for
the quality of a media outlet.
Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to
attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is
closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose
up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.
Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law,
retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the
political and economic power structure?
The coming years will
Case study -
Syria war coverage
As part of a case study,
the Syria war coverage of nine
leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were
examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies.
The following newspapers
For Germany: Die
Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), and Frankfurter Allgemeine
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Tagesanzeiger (TA), and Basler
Standard, Kurier, and Die Presse
The investigation period
was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after
Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict.
The entire print and
online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any
Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the
newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met
the stated criteria.
In a first step, the articles were classified according to their
properties into the following groups:
from news agencies (with agency code)
reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in
part on agency reports
Editorial background reports and analyzes
Opinions/Comments: Opinions and guest comments
interviews with experts, politicians etc.
Investigative research that reveals new information or
The following Figure 1
shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers
analyzed in total.
As can be seen,
55% of articles
were news agency reports
reports based on agency material
10% opinions and
0% based on
Types of articles (total; n=381)
The pure agency texts - from short notices to the detailed reports -
were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers:
on the one hand,
the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed
on the other
hand, there are no space restrictions
Most other types of
articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some
exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the
All items were collected
only once for the investigation.
The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per
newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most
newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian
conflict (print and online).
In the German newspaper
Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the
Austrian Kurier, however, significantly less (29 or 33).
Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is,
almost 50% (Welt,
Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung)
just under 60% (FAZ,
60 to 70% (Presse,
Together with the
agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between
approx. 70% and 80%.
These proportions are
consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston
2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).
In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five
to six pieces), followed by Welt, Süddeutsche and Standard (four
each) and the other newspapers (one to three).
The background reports
and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and
development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and
interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the
However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German
newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ
and Tagesanzeiger (four each).
Basler Zeitung did not
publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two
interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and
Kurier and Presse (one each).
however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.
In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a
journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports
Reports contained strong
expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as
commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article
labeling by the newspaper.
of articles per newspaper
The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by
agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country.
The 211 agency reports
carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material
from more than one agency).
24% of agency
reports came from the AFP
about 20% each by
the DPA, APA and Reuters
9% of the SDA
6% of the AP
11% were unknown
(no labeling or blanket term "agencies")
In Germany, the DPA, AFP
and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news
stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in
Austria, the APA and Reuters.
In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are
likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA
obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies
and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.
It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global
agencies are represented differently in different regions of the
For events in Asia,
Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be
different than from events in the Middle East.
of news agencies,
(n=277) and per country
In the next step, central statements were used to rate the
orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and
interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles).
As Figure 4 shows, 82% of
the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or
balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.
The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in
the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled:
"The strategy of
regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad'
terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy
Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments,
interviewees (total; n=45).
The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions,
guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual
As can be seen, Welt,
Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian
newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and
This goes for FAZ too,
with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution.
brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as
the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.
Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly
publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The
Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced
Shortly after the
observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published
an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament.
This would of course have
been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.
orientation of opinion pieces
interviewees per newspaper
In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda"
(and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which
cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the
two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant
"IS/ISIS" was not considered).
In total, twenty such
cases were identified.
Figure 6 shows the
in 85% of the
cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the
in 15% the
identification was neutral or unstated
in 0% of the
cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the
It should be noted that
about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ, which spoke of
Russian propaganda quite frequently,
...followed by German FAZ
(three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian
newspaper Kurier (one).
The other newspapers did
not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the
context of IS).
Attribution of propaganda
conflict parties (total; n=20).
In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily
newspapers from Germany, Austria and
Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic
performance using the example of the Syrian war.
The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies
(63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of
own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting
on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative),
whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.
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