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Reporter Who Was Fired For Smearing Herself With Mud Speaks Out

by : Emily Brown on : 24 Jul 2021 12:23
Reporter Who Was Fired For Smearing Herself With Mud Speaks OutRTL

A German reporter has spoken out after smearing herself with mud to make it appear as if she was taking part in clean-up efforts in towns devastated by floods. 

Footage recorded by an onlooker appeared to show RTL news reporter Susanna Ohlen using mud from the ground and smearing it on her face and clothes for a report on the clean-up operations taking place in towns and cities across Germany, which has been hit with extreme floods.

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The since-deleted report panned over piles of rubble and items scattered from people’s homes and businesses, and reportedly claimed that the presenter was lending ‘a hand in the clean-up work in Bad Münstereifel’.

See the footage of Ohlen ahead of her report below:

Ohlen held a spade in the report, which also showed her wearing a bucket hat, wellington boots, thick industrial gloves and a shirt with her sleeves rolled-up, and urged viewers to join in with the operations, The Independent reports.

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Following the release of the secretly-recorded footage, however, the reporter came under fire for her apparent hypocrisy and was put on leave from her job.

Ohlen has since apologised for actions, saying she made a ‘serious mistake’ by smearing mud on her clothes.

Man clearing up damage from floods in Germany (PA Images)PA Images

In a statement shared on the RTL website, the reporter claimed she had previously ‘privately’ helped in the clean-up operations, but that she was ‘ashamed to stand in front of the camera in clean clothes’ for her report. She claimed to have put mud on her clothes ‘without thinking about it’.

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RTL said in a statement that Ohlen’s approach to her report ‘clearly contradicts journalistic principles and [the channel’s] own standards’, explaining that it gave her leave of absence after hearing about her actions.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, floods, Germany, Reporter

Credits

RTL and 1 other
  1. RTL

    RTL presenter Susanna Ohlen apologizes "I'm sorry"

  2. The Independent

    German TV reporter fired after caught smearing herself with mud to fake that she helped clear up flooded town