HANDOUT - 26.06.2022, Ukraine, ---: Dieses vom Pressedienst des russischen Verteidigungsministeriums veröffentlichte Foto zeigt einen Mehrfachraketenwerfer des russischen Militärs, der Raketen auf ukrainische Truppen an einem unbekannten Ort feuert. Foto: Uncredited/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Journalism is required: people in Germany are following the war in Ukraine closely, and the majority of them feel up-to-date, but not sufficiently informed about its effects or about the different perspectives. At the same time, after the beginning of the war, the group of those who consciously avoid negative news – especially in the 18 to 24 age group – grew faster in Germany than in the other countries studied, Poland, Great Britain, Brazil and the USA. These findings from the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford contain clear indications of where professional journalism can improve, namely explaining and classifying more, showing more perspectives, and that it should actively strengthen crisis and media competence.

This is also confirmed by the findings of another study by the Rheingold Institute in Cologne. At the beginning of the war at the end of February, many reacted with helpfulness and solidarity, meanwhile with repression. People want to keep the fear of war at bay with strategies for self-pacification and self-empowerment, stocking up, packing travel bags as a precaution, partying like there’s no tomorrow, quotes people who “de-dramatize” the situation in Ukraine.

The key to a robust, i.e. resilient life, is being informed. It makes you fit for everyday life, especially in times of crisis. Putin’s war in Ukraine has always been a war for information. Linked to this is the very justified fear of many being taken in by disinformation. The only thing that helps here is that citizens must systematically become more competent in the field of crises and the media. Fact checking initiatives, projects such as “Journalism teaches”, think tanks such as First Draft (since June Information Futures Lab) are starting points or ideas for how journalism can be used as a school of life.