That is a very interesting question.
Short answer: Always!
However, apparently the mainstream media in Germany has a really hard time with it!
German media isn’t alone! The Left-leaning media here in the US has for the last decade failed to report on some really horrible refugee crime stories I believe out of willful blindness—reports of refugees committing violent crime simply don’t fit their world view!
Just the word refugee is supposed to make people melt with love and be more willing to invite them in as neighbors!
Case in point!
When Esar Met, a Burmese Rohingya refugee, raped and murdered a little Christian girl in Salt Lake City, only the major paper in Utah covered the horrific details and long trial. The story never made it out of Utah.
(In 2014 Met was sentenced to life in prison, see here.)
Now here is The Local (Germany) with a hand-wringing report on the question.
Do we report the crime and fire up the xenophobes and racists? Or downplay the crime so as not to interfere with the warm and fuzzy meme about refugees that Mama Merkel and company are promoting?
When should the media report on murders by refugees?
Responsibly reporting on violent crime committed by refugees is one of the hardest things for a news organization to get right. A national broadcaster’s decision not to cover one such murder caused Jörg Luyken to take a closer look.
Do newspapers focus too much on crimes committed by refugees, thus creating an exaggerated public fear of the danger they pose? Or do they too often ignore them out of a misplaced concern that they would be fuelling racism?
Depending on who you talk to in Germany, you will get very different opinions. Left-wingers believe the press over-report, cynically exploiting the fact that refugee crime sells newspapers. The right meanwhile harangue the “politically correct” media for failing to inform the public of a growing crime wave.
As an editor who has to make calls on what does and doesn’t appear on our website, I can say it is a mighty hard call.
I am well aware of the fact that a horrific crime with an asylum seeker as the suspect – such as the rape-murder of a teenage girl in Wiesbaden in June – will bring readers to our website. In a time of declining advertising revenues, news organizations face pressure to maximize their readership.
So are we journalists pushing refugees under the bus to save our own skin? Have we awoken a latent xenophobia in the general public that helps us sell newspapers every time an asylum seeker commits a crime?
That is certainly the conclusion to draw from a statement made by German public broadcaster ARD earlier this month. ARD is publicly financed and therefore free to cover the news without fear that low ratings will drive it into bankruptcy.
On August 16th, its Tagesschau evening news bulletin chose not to mention a grim murder in the central German town of Offenbach. A doctor had been stabbed to death in his practise that morning with no obvious explanation for why. Hours later police arrested his suspected murderer – an asylum seeker from Somalia who arrived in the country in late 2015.
After receiving complaints from the public for its decision not to cover the crime, Tagesschau’s editor-in-chief Kai Gniffke publicly justified the decision.
He explained that Tagesschau only reports on news that has “a societal, national or international relevance – things that are meaningful to the majority of the 83 million Germans.”
Murders committed by refugees would only be relevant to the whole country “if refugees are over-proportionally likely to be involved in committing homicide,” he argued. “As far as we can tell from our research, this isn’t the case – therefore we decided not to report on the crime.”
There is a clear logic here: refugees are no more likely to murder than other members of society, therefore any national media outlet that reports on murders by refugees while ignoring other murders is giving the false impression that refugees are more dangerous than Germans.
Looking at crime figures
So is that it settled? Well, no. A closer look at the national crime statistics shows that Mr. Gniffke’s conclusion is fairly wide of the mark.
What follows is a rather lengthy discussion of the numbers of murders committed by refugees in Germany, and is very much worth reading.
Now here is the nub of why these violent crimes must be reported—-how on earth do we know what policies and practices governments should follow (and what mistakes were made!) to protect citizens if we hide from the truth!
In summary: refugees are more likely to be suspected of murder. The most significant reason for this is because they are young and male. Choosing not to cover these murders means one accepts the argument that the government could not have done things differently in 2015; choosing to cover them is to give a nod to the argument that they had different policy options.
Continue reading The Local here.
And, one more thing!
Every time the Leftwing-dominated media buries a story like Met’s or like that poor German doctor, it adds fuel to the fake news firestorm, a fire you would think the media as a whole wants to put out.