The Alternative for Germany (AfD) is taking matters into its own hands and is launching its own online newsroom because it believes its not getting enough press or is being presented it in the way it would like.
Speaking to Focus magazine (link in German), AfD leader Alice Weidel said its TV newsroom, which will be launched in April, would offer an alternative public sphere to the established media. Weidel called it “an innovative turning point in the federal republic.”
“As long as the AFD is ignored by many media or deliberately maligned with fake news , this can be the only way,” Weidel said.
The plan is for a group of 20 staff working 24 hours a day to disseminate the party’s take on the German news. They’ll also spread the AfD’s messages and highlight topics that, according to Weidel, “have been swept under the carpet.” However, there’s resistance in the AfD ranks about funding—they’ve already hit a snag getting approval for the PR staff budget.
“This smells like propaganda,” a spokesperson from the German Federation of Journalists told The Local, adding that the AfD “want to have their own form of truth.”
The AfD—which entered the German parliament for the first time with around 13% of the vote after the September 2017 election—is already pretty social-media savvy. During the election campaign, it hired Texas-based Harris Media, which has worked with Britain’s UKIP and Donald Trump’s campaign during the Republican primaries.
The AfD campaigned purely on anti-immigrant sentiment, with posters depicting pigs, captioned: “Islam doesn’t fit with our cuisine,” and scantily clad women and the line: “Burqas? We like bikinis.”