Bild, Merkel and the culture wars: the inside story of Germany’s biggest tabloid

2 years ago 49

The newspaper Bild has long poured vitriol on the country’s left-wingers and ‘do gooders’. But now it has a new target: the chancellor. By Thomas Meaney

‘It would be ideal if you could hit a deer,” Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of Europe’s largest tabloid, Bild Zeitung, told his chauffeur. “Guardian readers could do with a bit more colour.” We had reached escape velocity out of ice-encrusted Düsseldorf. The Mercedes S-Class locked into place like a bobsled on the Autobahn. I sat shotgun with Reichelt’s assortment of sports gear, a hockey stick between my legs. “We are lucky in our driver today,” Reichelt said, deadpan. “Last time we hit a wild boar and the boar and the car went flying.”

I was travelling with Reichelt on one of his publicity tours across Germany. For the past two years, he has made an appointment once a month to commune with groups of Bild’s 1.3 million readers. “You have to feel their emotions,” he told me from the backseat. “You have to listen to their hearts.”

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