Who are exceptional examples of self-control

Marcus Engert (center), winner of the "MedienSpiegel" 2019, with the FPS chairman Prof. Dr. Dr. Matthias Rath and the jury members Dr. Nina Köberer, Anton Sahlender and Dr. Ingrid Stapf

The “MedienSpiegel” of the Association for the Promotion of Journalistic Self-Control (FPS) will be awarded in 2019 for the podcast “Unterm Radar” by BuzzFeed News Germany. Reporter Marcus Engert accepted the award on Thursday evening on behalf of the BuzzFeed editorial team and editor-in-chief Daniel Drepper during a ceremony at the Macromedia University in Cologne.

The “Unterm Radar” format, which has been appearing since July 31, 2018, reports on the research carried out by BuzzFeed reporters - and thus enables a glimpse behind the scenes of journalistic work. In episodes that appear several times a month, the creators explain how they came up with their topics, which sources spoke to them and which problems they encountered in the process. We deliberately point out our own mistakes again and again - things “that went wrong or that frustrate us,” as Marcus Engert wrote on the occasion of the pilot episode's release. The title “Under the Radar” is both motto and claim at the same time. “We want to make it transparent what happens in our editorial team before an article appears. The processes and workflows, what's going on on our desks and in our heads - everything that remains under the radar for readers, ”continues Engert.

The jury of the “MedienSpiegel” likes that “Unterm Radar” as a podcast also reaches target groups other than traditional mass media. The podcast enables self-transparency and insights into the challenges of journalism, but also deals with potential solutions. "An extraordinary and particularly clear form of journalistic transparency can be seen here," said the jury's statement. “Ultimately, it's about researching behind the research and the knowledge gained from it. With this transparency, ‘Under the Radar’ sometimes even begins before the publication of the article whose content is ultimately intended. "Under the radar" is a new digital media format that fluctuates between media journalism and self-reflection. That does the self-reflection, which is primarily about the ‘MedienSpiegel’, but doesn’t detract from it. "Under the radar" shows what is possible. "

In addition to the award for the BuzzFeed podcast, the jury of the “MedienSpiegel” gave two honorable mentions this year:

  • on the one hand for the contribution “stereotypes and clichés” by Kurt Kister (Süddeutsche Zeitung) as a reaction and discussion offer to the readership after a conflict over a Netanyahu caricature published in the newspaper;
  • on the other hand for Benjamin Piel (Mindener Tageblatt) and his involvement in the column “Standpunkt zum Thema”, in which he repeatedly reveals his demands on professional journalism.

Members of the jury are Janina Kalle (journalist), Anton Sahlender (spokesman for the Association of Media Ombudsmen in Germany and “reader advocate” for Main-Post) and media ethicists Dr. Nina Köberer and Dr. Ingrid Stapf.

The “MedienSpiegel” award is an initiative of the Association for the Promotion of Journalistic Self-Control with the aim of increasing the media transparency of journalistic self-regulation and at the same time strengthening public awareness. The “MedienSpiegel” is intended to generate positive attention for media workers, editorial offices or media houses as well as civil society initiatives that implement this self-control. The award is given to specific products, initiatives and projects that address the special public task of the media in an exemplary manner, criticize deviations from it or raise public awareness of special potentials in the area of ​​best practice.

The winner of the "MedienSpiegel" 2019: Marcus Engert, reporter at BuzzFeed News Germany