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34 - Travailleurs, travailleuses !

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Cécile Méadel, Camille Noûs

You have seen nothing in Cologne… A look back at an embarrassing case in 2015

Le Temps des médias n° 34, Printemps 2020, p. 206-227.

DrapeauFrancais

What actually happened the night of New Year’s Eve in Cologne? The coverage of this night was late, but it led to an intense, worldwide and long-term echo. The press analysis, by means of a text mining tool, shows that newspapers have never been able to answer this opening question. Many different stories have been written about that night with proliferating interpretations but without qualifying the facts at first. As well as no credible image was published. Two key elements, closely interrelated since the first police communiqués, have hidden the understanding of facts: sexual harassment and migrants. As a result, there has been controversy over both the responsibility for the facts and the list of victims. In the public sphere, the trial has been done long before and long after the events of this night. The paper will show why nothing was viewable in Cologne and why the media inquiry was impossible as well as the police investigation.

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