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Bild headquarters in Berlin
The scientific community took German tabloid Bild to task over an article blaming scientists for pandemic restrictionsImage: AP

Scientists slam German tabloid over COVID coverage

December 7, 2021

Berlin's Humboldt University has criticized Bild after the paper blamed scientists for COVID restrictions. The tabloid ran pictures of three scientific researchers, labeling them "lockdown makers."


Humboldt University of Berlin and Germany's Alliance of Scientific Organizations objected Monday to coverage in the tabloid Bild which took scientists to task over restrictions recently implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bild is Germany's most popular newspaper and on Saturday it published pictures of three scientists under the headline: "Trio of experts give us frustration for the holidays."

The article was published after new restrictions took effect.

What was the response of the scientific community?

The Alliance of Scientific Organizations criticized Bild for contributing to public hostility towards scientists while the pandemic is still raging.

Humboldt University filed a complaint with the German Press Council over the article. Scientists at the university in the German capital, including physicist and biology expert Dirk Brockmann, were described as "lockdown makers" in the Bild article.

In a statement Monday, the Alliance of Scientific Organizations said Bild made it seem as if the three researchers were personally responsible for increased restrictions.

The association said the coverage could "easily contribute to a climate of opinion that has elsewhere already led to scientists being subjected to, or threatened with, physical or psychological violence."

Germany marks a grim COVID milestone

What has Bild said about the article?

Axel Springer, the publisher of Bild, said the company understood the criticism and took it seriously.

In a statement, the publisher said: "Criticism of scientists and their proposal must be possible, but it should always be done in an appropriate way."

ar/jsi (AP, epd)

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