Press Council reprimands Weltwoche for US election coverage

The Press Council has reprimanded Weltwoche in connection with US election coverage. The sentence "Not even Saddam Hussein falsified so brazenly" was not admissible because it presented the alleged election fraud as fact.

The Press Council reprimands Weltwoche for the article "Stop the theft!" published in November 2020. (Screenshot: Weltwoche.ch)

The Press Council complaint was triggered by a November 19, 2020 article titled "Stop the theft!". In that article, the lead stated that "apparently masses of ballots had turned up" that were 100 percent to Joe Biden.

A reader turned to the Press Council because the alleged "election fraud" was false and unconfirmed at the time of publication.

The Weltwoche defended itself with the argument that this was not a statement of fact. Finally, the text contained the word "apparently". The readership could therefore easily have recognised that it was a reproduction of allegations that had not been confirmed.

In this respect, the Press Council is of the same opinion as the Weltwoche. The word "apparently" had been used in the lead and in the introductory sentence. However, he is bothered by the sentence "Not even Saddam Hussein falsified so brazenly."

Thus, the allegation of electoral fraud is presented as fact after all, which is not admissible. The Weltwoche had thus violated paragraph 3 (processing of sources) of the "Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists". (SDA)

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