A German channel has terminated its reporter’s job after appearing to smear herself with mud, before filming a report in a town devastated by floods in the country.
“Our reporter’s approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our standards, so we have decided to fire her,” RTL television said in a statement.
The channel confirmed that the correspondent was seeking to deceive the public, and delude them that it provided assistance to those affected.
Reporter Susanna Ohlin, 39, was found to have deliberately pretended to help with clean-up efforts in the town of Bad Münster Eifel after torrential floods that killed at least 128 people in Germany.
Reporter Susanna Ohlin said on her official Instagram account: “I made a terrible mistake on Monday in the flood zone by staining my clothes… Having already been helping especially in the area in the previous days, I felt ashamed in front of the other assistants that morning to pose in front of the camera in Clean top. Then, without thinking twice, I smeared my clothes with mud. As a journalist, this should never have happened to me. As someone who cares about the suffering of all those affected, this happened to me. I’m sorry.
The channel had published a report titled “Cleanup after flooding… an RTL reporter helps with clean-up efforts,” but unfortunately for it, someone in the area posted a video online, showing her smearing herself.
Ohlin appears in the video, wearing a blue shirt, hat and shoes, bending over, picking up some mud and staining her clothes, then bending down again and wiping her face with mud, as she was surrounded by homes and debris damaged by floods.
The number of deaths has exceeded 110 in the Arweiler region in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany, and officials fear the death toll will continue to rise.