Reporter suspended after being filmed 'muddying herself to fake helping flood clean up'
Susanna Ohlen was on the ground posing as one of those helping clean up after the Germany floods
A German reporter has faced waves of criticism online after she was caught muddying her face to look as though she was helping clean up after the recent Germany floods. The natural disaster has wreaked havoc throughout the country, with at least 172 people dead and more than 155 people still missing.
Susanna Ohlen, 39, who works for RTL Television - Germany's largest private and free-to-air TV channel - has since been suspended by the broadcaster after she was filmed by onlookers muddying her face and clothes using the debris left by the flooding before going live on camera.
— Argo Nerd (@argonerd) July 22, 2021
The news segment for Guten Morgen Deutschland - the German equivalent of Good Morning Britain or other early morning/breakfast news programmes - has since been deleted online by RTL, though clips have already been circulated around YouTube and social media.
She was reporting on the clean-up operations following the extreme floods that completely destroyed many towns and cities in Germany last week. During the broadcast, the mud-smeared Ohlen can be seen holding a spade, wearing a work hat, wellington boots and thick industrial gloves as she poses alongside other people genuinely helping with the relief effort.
An RTL spokeswoman issued the following statement: “Our reporter’s approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards. We therefore gave her leave of absence on Monday after we heard about it.”
Meanwhile, Ms Ohlen herself apologised for her actions on Instagram, saying that she had made “a serious mistake”.