Status: 21.09.2023, 17:15 p.m.
By: Moritz Bletzinger
ZDF's Ben Bode gets emotional when a little girl talks about the climate crisis. Critics ask: Is this still journalism? The sender reacts.
Berlin – "Cracks in our society – The climate dispute": Under this title, the ZDF magazine "37 Grad Leben" dealt with the "Last Generation". And I felt the "cracks" himself afterwards.
Columnist Jan Fleischhauer rages about the "next stage of attitude journalism", while Bild suggestively asks: "Is this still journalism or is it already (public service) climate activism?"
"I think it's cool that you're running along": "37 degrees" reporter cries because of girls at the demo of the "Last Generation"
That's what it's about: Reporter Ben Bode visited a protest action of the "Last Generation" in Berlin for the climate documentary, where he met a father who took his little daughter with him. It is already their second climate demonstration.
Why are you running with me, Bode wants to know? "Well, because it's my future. I just don't want to live somewhere where it's really hot, or where there's garbage everywhere, or where climate catastrophes are everywhere." This was apparently too much for the journalist, Bode bursts into tears. Dad and daughter look embarrassed at first.
ZDF journalist Ben Bode could not hold on to himself in an interview with a little girl – for the emotional moment it is now hailing criticism. © Screenshot/ZDF/37 Grad
With red eyes and a trembling voice, Bode continues the interview. "But I think it's really cool that you're running with me. It shows us older people how important this is," he praises the girl.
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ZDF criticized after tearful interview: Broadcaster waits for statement
Conservative media and observers are now raging about this excerpt. The accusation: ZDF lacks journalistic distance. At the request of IPPEN. MEDIA, why it was decided to show the emotional moment of Bode, the TV channel replied. "'37 degrees of life' is about controversial social issues," the statement said. In the film "Cracks in Society: The Climate Dispute" with Aimée van Baalen of the Last Generation and CDU politician Caroline Bosbach, different protagonists were given a chance to speak.
"It becomes clear that climate change is not only discussed rationally, but also arouses emotions on both sides. Moderator Ben Bode listened to both sides with their arguments, asked critical questions and revealed his own inner conflict on the topic," the broadcaster said. The reporter had also left open "in his conclusion" "what answers to climate change should be found" and thus did not take sides, was the assessment of ZDF.
Public service broadcasters have recently come into focus more frequently. For example, when a supposedly random passer-by turned out to be a production assistant in a "Tagesschau" survey.