Patrick Gensing, ARD’s “factual investigator”, will move to FC St. Pauli in the second division

A fact finder is a useful news organization. Basically. Numbers, incorrect names, or incorrectly assigned or reproduced citations sneak into the report, spread and are transmitted incorrectly from one person to another, essentially as a silent message. A fact finder makes it clear, for example, if the number is really correct, what its source is or how methodical it was. If this activity is done comprehensively, it helps to increase the quality of reporting.

Basically. But when ARD decided five years ago to install a “search factors”, it chose Patrick Gensing. A self-confessed left. Even by ARD standards. “Believing in numbers” condemned Gensing in public statements. He needs the expert to sort the numbers. So that with him from the beginning, finding the “facts” was more like finding a “classification”. The ranking went mostly in one direction: his left.

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That is why the criticisms of Gensing have been repeated over and over again in the five years of his work. So that he couldn’t avoid examining leftist representatives like SPD leader Saskia Esken. In April she posted a photo of herself and Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk and wrote: “After once again harsh criticism from Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk to the Russian policy of the Social Democrats, the leadership of the SPD met the diplomat “. A photo with the ambassador, a message that you met him. Esken’s statement was so clear that the news agency dpa reported in this regard.

But then found it Bild-Reporter Paul Ronzheimer: The photo is older and the conversation mentioned didn’t even take place. A topic for the Gensing fact-seeker: Den Bild-The man could not refute the ARD expert for misinformation. So he wrote as a conclusion: “In the case of targeted disinformation, old photos and videos are voluntarily used again and again to mislead the public.” Now journalists are learning to formulate active rather than passive sentences and in this way to call horse and rider by their names. Especially since Saskia Esken is clearly a public figure. But mentioning the SPD leader in a sentence with “specific misinformation” didn’t get Gensing to heart, which he is known to be on the left.

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Gensing titled the text “confusion after Esken’s tweet” – “confusion”. Not “lies”, “dizzy”, “deliberately false statements” or at least “misleading statements”. He chooses “confusion”, following a popular leftist way of responding to their mistakes: denying a mistake until there really is no other choice. And then, but only then, apologize for being misunderstood. So you can always dismiss the problem by pointing out that you apologized, even if in reality you just said that others were too stupid to understand you correctly. Gensing may not believe the numbers. But for the words. Especially when they let the world shine in its light.

But now it’s over. In future he will be head of media and communication at FC St. Pauli. A childhood dream, as Gensing documents with a photo from his school newspaper. Solo: The work is noisy Hamburger Morgenpost just for the moment. Gensing represents Anne Kunze, who takes parental leave for one year. It is also a relegation from the German champions of the news to the second division football team. Two games before the end of the season, the club are three points from promotion and have the worst goal difference of the five promotion candidates.

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“I resigned, I was not deported,” Gensing said plainly on Twitter as a reporter. He says that in advance, before something else is brought into the world. OK. In another tweet, Gensing writes: “I wish the ÖRR the courage to defend itself valiantly from irrelevant attacks and to protect employees,” said the reporter with a clarity for which the Oracle of Delphi was previously known. As Esken’s tweet shows, doubts are appropriate when Gensing takes refuge in the vague. So the number skeptic looks for words that make his view of the world appear as a fact.

Would Gensing want ARD to protect employees if they don’t anyway? According to his own statements, Gensing will not enlighten and contribute to more truths in the world: “Please understand that I cannot say anything about the future of #factfinders and investigative departments, it is not in my hands,” he writes on Twitter. And he continues: “There have been justified criticisms, but also many harsh personal attacks. But do you close your head? No.” He sounds pugnacious like FC St. Pauli, but not quite as harmonious goodbye.


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