A German television news reporter was suspended after a video showed the journalist smearing herself with mud in an apparent attempt to look more authentic while reporting on devastating damage caused by flooding.
RTL presenter Susanna Ohlen was in the town of Bad Münstereife to ‘help out’ with flood recovery efforts, but the clip shows the reporter deliberately dirtying herself by running the dirt on her forehead and cheeks.
Another video shows Ohlen reporting live for RTL at the same location.
An RTL report initially claimed, “Numerous prominent helpers also lend a hand and actively support the local people. One of them is Susanna Ohlen.”
However, as soon as the video clip of Ohlen’s behavior emerged, the article was deleted from RTL’s website.
“Our reporter’s approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards,” said RTL in response to the incident. “We therefore gave her a leave of absence on Monday after we heard about it.”
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