Yesterday on Social Media (that's how a lot of stories start nowadays!) a German chap, early 60s, a historian with a PhD was telling me off for saying German media were propagating government viewpoints. Assuming I was British and therefore (!) wouldn't know much, he prodeeded to give me a lecture about freedom of the press in Germany. How German media was founded Precisely!! in order to counteract government propaganda because of all the wonderful lessons learned from National Socialism. And so on and so on.
Why is this important and what does it tell us about Germany today?
Because it shows that Germans - highly educated and informed as they are - understand nothing of how communication works.
Few Germans know what an advertising agency is and what it does. Ask them about PR-agencies or media agencies and you will draw a total blank.
How can anybody expect a nation which can tell you everythig about the Enlightenment and what great lessons of "Mitmenschlichkeit" to draw from it (all said with a Bridget Jones style earnest nodding of the head) but knows nothing about press conferences, "Kamingespräche" between PR-agencies and journalist, the workings of ad placement by media agencies and so on and so on be expected to take a stand against what's going on in their country? They are like naive children repeating what their mummy has told them. Fully expecting to be praised because they are so learned - gut aufgepasst!
Germans are singularily badly equipped to stand up to the manipulation - by the media, by the government - that's going on under their very eyes. #sad