The report, commissioned by the foundation Otto Brenner Stiftung, examined how the German news media covered the 2015 refugee crisis, concluding that the coverage was overwhelmingly positive of Angela Merkel’s decision to let hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers into the country, the Financial Times reports.

The report (in German) says that a lot of the coverage employed a new term, “Willkommenskultur”, exhorting readers to take a welcoming view of the newcomers. Meanwhile, the views of people who felt “politically insecure or marginalised” by the arrival of refugees were not represented in the press, leading to a growing societal rift between liberals and nationalists, the report concludes.

Moreover, the news coverage contributed to the feeling that the press is uncritical in adopting politicians’ views, which amplified the distrust in the mainstream media.

Since the height of the refugee crisis, the press has taken a “more restrained” and “sceptical” attitude, the report concludes.

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