06 October 2015

German TV channel under fire over image of Merkel in headscarf

German TV channel ARD has denied broadcasting "anti-Islamic propaganda" after it aired a mocked-up image of Angela Merkel wearing Islamic dress.

The image was shown in the background of a segment on refugee quotas in the channel's Report from Berlin programme.

The programme has received heavy criticism from viewers, some of whom said the image resembled those used by anti-Islam movement Pegida.

ARD said that the graphic was "designed to capture people's attention".

"We welcome the many criticisms of the graphic in yesterday's Report from Berlin and we are sorry some disagreed with our portrayal of the chancellor or even misunderstood," the programme said in a statement published on Facebook.

The statement said the graphic was intended as satire and reflected "the achievements of our Western society - freedom of expression, press freedom and equality".

But viewers took to Facebook to accuse the channel of anti-Islamic propaganda, calling the report "manipulative" and "appalling". "This is not constructive journalism," wrote another. [BBC] Read more