As I noted a few posts ago, North German Radio (NDR) broadcast a very strange interview with Jens Söring on Easter Sunday. I wondered what exactly the host was thinking, hosting an unrepentant killer and avowed agnostic/atheist for a guest spot on Easter Sunday, of all days. Of course, Söring recited his innocence claims, and the host did not pose a single skeptical question.
I didn’t complain about this broadcast, but other people did. And now my sources have a positive message: North German Radio has agreed that it was a mistake to broadcast the episode in that form. They will announce a formal apology for the mistake in an upcoming segment, possibly on May 8, 2022.
I’d like to explicitly congratulate North German Radio on taking this step. It takes courage to admit a mistake and correct the record. Mistakes are a part of life and of journalism; it’s how you respond that defines your character.
Again, my message to the German media is: By all means invite Jens Söring. However, if he argues his innocence — and he will — you have a duty to your readers, viewers, or listeners. That duty is, at the very minimum, to inform them that (1) Söring’s innocence claim are disputed and not backed by compelling evidence, and (2) to point them to alternate sources of information which will help them form a balanced perspective.
That’s really not too much to ask, is it?