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How RT Deutsch Supports The Political Platform Of Far Right Party AfD

December 2nd, 2021 14:24

The Ger­man Mar­shall Fund (GMF), a US think tank, is report­ing that Russia’s Ger­man-lan­guage chan­nel RT Deutsch did not dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly cov­er the far-right AfD par­ty com­pared to tra­di­tion­al Ger­man media out­lets. How­ev­er, the GMF did find that the channel’s cov­er­age of con­tro­ver­sial top­ics showed sig­nif­i­cant con­gru­ence with the polit­i­cal and social posi­tions pro­mot­ed by the AfD. Accord­ing to the GMF report:

Novem­ber 9, 2021 The align­ment of inter­ests between the Ger­man right-wing par­ty, Alter­na­tive for Deutsch­land (AfD), and Russia’s flag­ship Ger­man-lan­guage media out­let, RT Deutsch, is both well-doc­u­ment­ed and unsur­pris­ing, giv­en the Kremlin’s pen­chant for sup­port­ing divi­sive, rad­i­cal, or fringe polit­i­cal move­ments in the West. How­ev­er, analy­sis of data col­lect­ed by ASD’s Ger­man 2021 Elec­tion Dash­board found that in the months lead­ing up to the elec­tion RT Deutsch did not dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly cov­er the AfD com­pared to tra­di­tion­al Ger­man media out­lets (though an accu­rate count of men­tions proved dif­fi­cult due to false pos­i­tives and the use of full par­ty names ver­sus abbre­vi­a­tions). Addi­tion­al­ly, while RT Deutsch’s cov­er­age of the AfD was more pos­i­tive than that pro­vid­ed by Ger­man domes­tic media out­lets, overt sup­port for the AfD and its polit­i­cal lead­ers was rare. At the same time, RT Deutsch’s edi­to­ri­al­ized cov­er­age of con­tro­ver­sial top­ics rang­ing from vac­cine man­dates to refugee poli­cies showed sig­nif­i­cant con­gru­ence with the polit­i­cal and social posi­tions pro­mot­ed by the AfD. This de fac­to sup­port for the AfD’s polit­i­cal plat­form, if not the par­ty itself, helped boost RT Deutsch’s pop­u­lar­i­ty among AfD sup­port­ers, as evi­denced by the fact that pub­lic AfD affin­i­ty groups and pages on Face­book were more like­ly to share RT Deutsch con­tent than groups and pages asso­ci­at­ed with every oth­er Ger­man polit­i­cal par­ty combined.

Read the full report here.

In Octo­ber, YouTube blocked RT Deutsch’s YouTube chan­nels over Covid-19 misinformation.