• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pegida favorite 'lying press' is 'Un-word 2014'

DPA/The Local · 13 Jan 2015, 12:30

Published: 13 Jan 2015 12:30 GMT+01:00

The 'Unwort' Jury, made up of four language scientists and a journalist in Darmstadt, announced that they had selected "Lügenpresse" as Unwort des Jahres (un-word of the year).

Each year since 1991, the jury has selected the most offensive, new or newly popularized phrase in order to "promote awareness and sensitivity of language".

The word has been used this year to describe left-leaning media, who users allege promote their own world views rather than the truth. It has become a favourite chant among supporters of the anti-Islam Pegida movement.

Chairwoman of the jury and language scientist, Nina Janich, explained on Tuesday that the word's origins began during the First World War as a rallying cry and was later also used by the Nazis to delegitimize the independent press.

"The term was used to slander the media as a whole", Janich said.

"Such a sweeping condemnation hinders sound media criticism and thus contributes to the endangerment of press freedom, which is so important for democracy."

One incident that bolstered use of the word was when an undercover RTL reporter gave an interview to another network while posing as a Pegida protester.

He said on camera that "when you go out, there really are a lot of Turks. I get on with many of them fine, but it comes to the point where you think 'Are we really still German in Germany?"

The journalist involved lost his job over the incident as the network scrambled to fight accusations of bias.

The 'Word of the Year' for 2014 was "Lichtgrenze," a term referring to the art piece made up of 8,000 illuminated balloons placed along the path of the former Berlin Wall, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

The word of the year and the non-word of the year were originally both announced by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache, but the Unwort jury split to become independent in 1994.

Story continues below…

The Unwort of 2013 was 'Sozialtourismus,' referring mainly to unwanted immigrants searching for social benefits.

Other previous non-words include "Döner-Morde", or Döner-murder, a phrase used by police and German media to describe the murders of eight ethnic Turkish and one Greek, which turned out to be the work of terrorist neo-Nazis known as the National Socialist Underground (NSU).

SEE ALSO: Reporter sacked over Pegida "interview"

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
What's on in Germany: July 2016
Berlin Pride celebrations. Photo: DPA

Beer, beach and the BMX - here's what's coming up in Germany this month.

Brexit vote
'Over 100,000 Brits' flood Berlin job site after Brexit vote
"Searching for job." Photo: DPA.

A German job-hunting website reported getting four times the amount of traffic from the UK that it normally does in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Man who stabbed Cologne mayor gets 14 years jail
Photo: DPA

The man who almost killed Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker when he stabbed her in the neck was sentenced to 14 years in jail on Friday.

Germany ups Turkey travel advisory after Istanbul attack
Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate mourn the victims of the Istanburl airport attack. Photo: DPA.

Germany on Friday warned its citizens to exercise particular caution if they travel to Turkey, following this week's deadly Istanbul airport attack.

Young Muslim takes on state on headscarf ban and wins
Aqilah Sandhu in court on Thursday. Photo: DPA

A 25-year-old lawyer has taken on the state of Bavaria over its attempts to stop her from wearing a headscarf - and scored a major victory.

Video
WATCH: Comic teaches about Ramadan on flying carpet
Photo: Screenshot from Dattelträger video.

A young comedian hopes his flying carpet stunt can help fight back against stereotypes - by becoming one.

Brexit vote
'It won't be romantic. But I need an EU passport'
Lucy Thomas (left), director at Give Something Back to Berlin. Photo: Private

British expats in Berlin tell The Local that a week after the Brexit vote they are still stunned - and are considering their next steps.

Town ravaged by floods tries to pick up the pieces
Rebuilding in Simbach. Photo: DPA

July 2nd should have been the start of a new life for Anna Kluchan and her husband. But then the floods came.

Lufthansa finally buries hatchet with cabin staff
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa and its cabin staff said Thursday they had reached an agreement on working conditions, bringing to an end a long and bitter industrial dispute that hit thousands of passengers.

Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,900
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd