Moderator Susanna Ohlen: "I made a serious mistake"
Photo: Henning Kaiser / dpa
When Susanna Ohlen reported on the clean-up work in Bad Münstereifel for the broadcaster RTL, she had mud on her face and on her clothes.
Obviously she wanted to give the impression that she had helped.
But video recordings show that Ohlen smeared himself with mud.
Now she has apologized for her behavior.
On Instagram she writes: “On Monday in the flood area in front of the switch for› Guten Morgen, Deutschland ‹I made a serious mistake. After I had already helped privately in the region on the previous days, I was ashamed in front of the other helpers that morning to be in front of the camera in a clean top. Then, without thinking twice, I smeared mud on my clothes. That should never have happened to me as a journalist. As a person who cares about the suffering of all those affected, it happened to me. I'm sorry."
An anonymous video clip had previously surfaced in which Ohlen and her TV team can be seen standing in the midst of junk and rubble, presumably waiting for filming to start.
At one point Ohlen bends down, reaches into a puddle and apparently spreads the dirt on her face.
The impression arises that she deliberately made herself dirty for the TV pictures in order to appear personally affected.
RTL considers the pictures taken from a house to be credible and wants to get to the bottom of the allegations internally.
»Our reporter's approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards.
We therefore gave her a leave of absence on Monday after we found out about it, "said an RTL spokeswoman on Thursday.
Previously, »Bild« and »tz« reported.
Ohlen also works as a presenter for the RTL magazine "Guten Morgen Deutschland", where the report was broadcast from the flood areas.