AfD co-leader Alice Weidel described the initiative as “an innovative turning point in the Federal Republic of Germany.”
According to Weidel, the reason behind it is the party’s ambivalent relationship with the media.
“As long as the AfD is ignored by many media outlets or targeted and run down by fake news, this can be the only approach,” Weidel told Focus.
In addition to the set-up of a traditional press office, about 20 other employees are to be responsible for communications, Focus reported based on insider information. The operation of the ‘newsroom’ will moreover be similar to that of those run by journalistic editorial staff.
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Emphasis will be placed on the sharing of AfD content on social media. Employees will work around the clock in shifts. Three of them will specialize in research and identify topics that Weidel says “are swept under the carpet that they can prepare in a journalistically wholesome way for the general public.” For this purpose, AfD parliamentary group quarters at the Jakob Kaiser House in Berlin – not far from the Reichstag – will also have their own TV studio.
But the decision was quickly dismissed as “propaganda” by a journalists' association.
“We see this very critically,” a spokesperson from the German Federation of Journalists told The Local.
With this newsroom, the AfD “want to have their own form of truth,” the spokesperson added. “But this smells like propaganda.”
The federation moreover questions how the party will be able to finance the “really expensive” operation with 20 employees working around the clock.