This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of December, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
Date of broadcasting: 22 and 23 December 2019
Media outlets: Híradó M1, main evening news programme of MTVA, the Hungarian public broadcaster.
Headlines: “More and more German citizens move to Hungary for security reasons”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: This M1 news report features the stories of two German people who moved to Hungary “because they wanted to live in peace and security”. Interviewed by the reporter, a person called Tanja Weber recounts how she “was living in constant terror” when she would walk home in her town in Germany. She said that what convinced her to move to Zalakomár was an episode where she “almost became a victim of ‘migrant violence’”, when she “was almost raped by three Syrians” to whom she wanted to sell a sofa. Weber says she wanted to report the incident to the police, but she was discouraged by the police themselves who told her she would not have any chance to achieve anything because the three of them would dispute her statements. “Then I decided to leave Germany. I want to live in peace, security and happiness”, Weber said. The second interviewee is a person called Stephen Richther, a former personal protection officer, who bought a house and moved to the Zala county two years ago. He said: “Germany is moving towards Islamisation, and the government cannot and does not want to protect their people. The economy is in decline, thousands are being laid off from their jobs, while the government claims there is a shortage of labour and that is why immigrants are needed”. The news clip says that he helped his brothers’ families to move to Hungary, while another German family will arrive in January. “In early 2015, he already knew that the mass migration would have unpredictable consequences”, the reporter says adding “they look at the Hungarian village where they live now as their new homeland. They hope they will live there safe and in peace.”
Myth Debunked: This news item by Híradó M1 is one-sided, as it uses the story of two families to assert that moving from Germany to Hungary to seek security is something systematic and objective. No experts are interviewed nor is data provided to support the claims about the lack of security in Germany caused by high immigration and, in contrast with this, the security in Hungary due to a low immigration level. The independent media outlet 444.hu fact checked the claims by Híradó M1 and found out that recent crime statistics show that the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in Hungary and Germany is approximately the same: the latest figures on murder rate in Hungary was 0.94 in 2017, compared to 1.18 in Germany in 2016. However, according to the latest United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes statistics mentioned also by 444.hu, in 2017 the proportion of intentional homicides was much higher in Hungary (2.5 per 100,000 people; 104th place in the world than in Germany (1.0 per 100,000 people; 47th place in the world). The Global Peace Index 2019, which ranks 163 states and territories according to their level of peacefulness, sees Hungary at number 21, followed by Germany at number 22. These statistics, compiled by different sources, show how it is deceitful to claim that immigration increases the security threats in Germany. The way this Híradó M1 news clip is framed falls under the anti-immigration agenda dominant across the country’s pro-government media. Through fear-mongering about immigration in Germany, propaganda media promote the idea that a strict anti-immigration policy is in the interests of Hungarian citizens to protect their own security.
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