FREMDER DURCHBLICK (AN OUTSIDER’S INSIGHT): A CRITICAL ANALSIS OF VISUAL COVERAGE OF THE SQUAT TEMPELHOF INITIATIVE IN BERLIN, GERMANY, 2009

Open Access
Author:
Antonaccio, Daniel
Area of Honors:
German
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Martina Kolb, Thesis Supervisor
  • Martina Kolb, Honors Advisor
  • Barry Richard Page Jr., Faculty Reader
  • Martina Kolb, Thesis Supervisor
Keywords:
  • media analysis
  • Berlin
  • Germany
  • German
  • deutsch
  • media
  • photography
  • communications
  • demonstration
  • Tempelhof
Abstract:
There are many sides to every story. Ideally, the role of the media is to accurately and even-handedly represent each facet of every story, with special attention to detail and efforts to curb bias in reporting. Through the commoditization of news and media, however, the line between entertainment and information has become blurred. In order to turn large profits, large media corporations often lean towards the entertainment end of the spectrum. This bias is apparent not only in printed news stories, but also in visual reporting through the editorial selection of photos to support traditional written coverage. All of this leads to a pressing question: in the modern media setting, how is the idea of journalistic “truth” upheld in the media? Frustrations among citizens over an apparent media bias (the bending of the “truth” among traditional news sources), coupled with technological innovations which have not only provided more venues through which to convey messages, but also remarkable capabilities to collect and store information, have led to the development of “independent journalism” networks that advocate for causes that would not normally receive more than cursory coverage by traditional media sources. This paper focuses on an event that received coverage from both traditional and independent media sources – the “Squat Tempelhof” initiative undertaken by the “Tempelhof für Alle” organization in Berlin, Germany on June 20, 2009. This event is of particular relevance due to the large number of demonstrators (about 5,000) and the heavy police response (1,800 officers) to the event. This combination of factors led to clashes between the two parties and distinctly different coverage by the traditional and independent media. The author will examine and present his photojournalistic coverage of the event, comparing it critically to that of other media sources in an effort to provide unbiased, faithful coverage of the event.