German media respond to new rules on reporting ethnicity of criminals

The suspect is a “German WITHOUT a migration background”: That’s what the police in the southwestern German city of Mannheim posted on Twitter after a man drove into a crowd in the center of nearby Heidelberg in February, killing one person and wounding several others. The police were addressing rumors circulating on social media about the man’s origin, as well as accusations that they were deliberately keeping mum on his ethnicity.

Such situations are part of a larger debate that the German media has been engaged in for a long time: Should journalists publish details about a criminal’s ethnicity or not?

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