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German reporter suspended after footage showed her smearing mud on herself while reporting on floods

Saturday July 24, 2021 - 01:31 EST
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Susanna Ohlen apologised after footage showed her smearing mud on herself.  - ABC

A German TV reporter has been suspended after video footage showed her smearing mud on herself while reporting on devastating floods in the country. 

German TV station RTL suspended presenter Susanna Ohlen after the footage surfaced online. The station said her conduct contradicted "journalistic principles and our own standards."

The video footage from the region of North Rhine-Westphalia shows Ms Ohlen standing among rubble in a street with her production crew.

She appears to bend over to scrape up mud and rub it on to her pants and shirt, as well as a hat she is wearing.

In an apology posted to Instagram, Ms Ohlen said she smeared the mud on herself "without thinking twice" because she had felt ashamed about reporting from the area in clean clothes.

"After I had already helped privately in the region in previous days, I was ashamed to stand in front of the camera in clean clothes, in front of the other relief workers. As a result, without thinking twice, I smeared mud on my clothes," she said according to German news site DW's English translation of her Instagram post.

"As a journalist, this should never have happened to me. As a person who takes the suffering of all those affected to heart, it has happened to me. I'm sorry."

Last week's catastrophic floods in Germany killed at least 180 people. 


© ABC 2021

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