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Pokerface Merkel…

30 Jun

Did you know that Angela Merkel has been considered as the most powerful woman of the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009?! There are some news about the German chancellor which are a bit astonoshing at first. I am going to revise how Angela Merkel is presented by the media and what people think about her manner.

First of all, it is very interesting to know that Angela Merkel is a person who really should know how to interact with the media. In 1990 she has been the press relations officer of the party “Democratic Departure”. This party constituted in 1989 and has been an oppositional party in East Germany. Even if this has been at about 15 years ago when Merkel became chancellor in 2005, one can’t deny her experiences from this time on concerning the media. Maybe among other things, this could be a reason why the German newspaper Die Zeit suggests that Merkel is very decent in her own presentation in the media. She has been very reluctant during the election campaign in 2009 and “let the others work and dispute” while she has been containing herself when it has been about the most important questions like the raise of the taxes.

In an article of the German magazine Der Spiegel there has been an articel about the “covert media chancellor” – she seems to control her presentation on the media very strictly.

In an other article it is affirmed that the chancellor belongs to the most contradictorily presented female politicians. Even if there are various portraits of her person,

“nobody knows who Angela Merkel is and which political ideas she really stands for.”

But maybe this “strategy” could not be detected¬† in America – The Washington Post mentioned her as “an example of leadership”. During her speech in front of the US- Congress in November 2009 Merkel has been interrupted at about 20 times by the applaus of the deputies and has been lauded for herperformance. She thanked the USA for the partnership between Germany and the US.

To sum up, in Germany Merkel of course has her adherents, without them she would not have been reelected in 2009. But in spite of that there are some doubts about her appearance: she seems to be chary in her media presence and gives a more serious than casual impression. She is accused of hiding behind inexplicit argumentation. Maybe this can be related to her formerly profession as a press relation officer. She knows how to present in media. Nevertehless our first female chancellor and the most powerful woman of the recent years can be sure about a high esteem in foreign countries especially in the US.


Barack Obama’s promises – all an illusion?

28 Jun

How is Barack Obama presented by the media in Germany and America? What do they think of him and his policy? These are the questions I want to find an answer to today.

Overall, my first impression was that German and American online newspapers report on Obama very positively, but still critically. The website of the Sueddeutsche, a German newspaper, has published a very critical and sceptical article about Obama’s policy. They call him “inapproachable” concerning his behaviour towards other countries, especially Europe, and develop the opinion that Obama doesn’t try to improve relationships to other nations. Furthermore, they think he is cold and calculating when it comes to communication with other states. A soujourner is Barack Obama, they say – someone who is never really coming home, but always a guest for a while.

On the other hand, German media also caught the euphoria during and before the elections. Additionally, the voices of Obama’s opponent’s where also captured. The German media was adopting the words “Yes, we can” of Obama’s election campaigning and transported a positive feeling towards Obama. They showed that also the Germans had high hopes and expectations they lied in this new president. His idea of change and his references to the American Dream made the German media dream of a new beginning after the era of Bush. The American newspapers also said, a “racial barrier” fell when Obama was elected president.

How is Obama presented by the media?

Of course, also negative voices were captured. The opponents of Obama were demonstrating against him. These demonstrations were not ignored by the media. All in all, the atmosphere during the election campaigns was perfectly conveyed to the German population. A part of the American media was also reporting on Obama’s weaknesses. The conservative Fox News are obviously corrupting Obama’s ideas and his policy. For example, he is called frustrated. The reader doesn’t often have to read between the lines to recognize what opinion the Fox News reporters have.

As a first conclusion, I would say, that Obama was presented as a bringer of change and hope during the elections. But after time has passed and he has been in the office for a while, more critical voices are heard. The people who had an image of a perfect president and a new, fresh and changing policy have been disillusioned. In my opinion, it would have been helpful to realize that Obama is also human and that he also has weaknesses. Moreover, it is not possible to regulate a policy that is enjoyed and supported by everyone. A topic always has to be considered from all aspects. Consequently, Obama and his policy might not have fulfilled all hopes, but I think he is at least trying to.

To have something to laugh at the end: I found a very funny video on youtube that compares Obama and Bush. Just watch it and think about it: