• Germany's news in English

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd