There are many Germans that write fanfictions. And many German journalists. But usually journalists don't write about fanfiction.
A journalist of Spiegel-Online did. http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/kulturspiegel/d-129911015.html
Let's applaud the bravery to write about a subculture which is every bit as loyal to itself as the 'Gamer subculture'. With less rape threats, yes, and less youtube videos about problems, but we're still here and connected to each other. We notice.
Let's hope for a second for an understanding article. Maybe about the fact that there is a netiquette that concerns fanfiction warnings, that many find comfort in stories, acceptance within the community and strength for their real life problems, or the small fact that by now many authors endorse fanfiction. Let's fantasie for a moment, that she might talk about the new movement behind AO3, polls that show a fascinating diversity of the fandom or papers that describe fandoms as an important part of culture.
Let's read the first paragraph. And feel the hopes burn.
It begins with two paragraphs of an Edward / Bella fanfic. The first are now already screaming in revulsion (why Twilight?!), others might look closer in interest, after all Twilight is a big and active fandom. Our jounalist, Vivian Alterauge, remarks that fans didn't want to accept that the bookseries ended and simply wrote on. In this case, an AU fanfic in which Bella is an abuse victim and Edward an ageing doctor. Certainly not the worst Twilight plot out there, but most fanfiction authors would say there is a slight difference between continuing a series and writing an AU.
It can only get better might the naive reader think.
Or not. After an explanation what fanfiction is (Subculture, NOT mainstream even though everyone in my age that I met knows it) and a mention of "Shades of Grey", our highly respected and admired journalist decides to get to the meat of her story - the helpless fanfiction author, who sadly had filled out her profile with the unfortunate mention of "mood swings" and that she is 27. Because moodswings add to the understanding of an entire fandom and its people. We - the fanfiction authors - are all subject to those and can only hope to have the excuse to be a teenager.
Sentences that barely scratch past being an accusations ("the literary work isn't untouchable", "suddenly on eye level with the book writers", "somes ideas are stolen, sometimes the own fantasy is enough") go on to explain that fanfiction became a mass phenomenon in the last decade and that there are several websites. The most famous German one is http://www.fanfiktion.de
What followed was enough for Helge, the owner of said website, to write his own wonderfully sarcastic blog post (which you can find here: https://blog.fanfiktion.de/blog/1409/schreib-nicht-weiter-alterauge/
- read it, it's worth it!) that he might disagree with his website being called amateurish, or having the charm of a telephone book. Maybe, just maybe, the website has a whole army of moderators who are polite and helpful and watch very, very well over the rules. Not to mention that anything above PG18 can only be accessed if your ID card has been verified.
Vivian Alterauge has certainly not taken the time to research the website beyond visiting it for 30 minutes. After all, she claims that no one checks on the age-limits beyond the author and the reader. If that were true, my fanfic "Felder der Dunkelheit" would've been never deleted. And I admit, freely and openly, it was my fault.
The train wreck of professional journalism continues. After writing how many fanfics are listed, making fun of profile pics and pennames, and of the reviews that are all just squeals and never in-depth discussions and the beginnings of friendhips, Vivien Alterauge concludes that amazon endangers the subculture and that there is a bit remaining bad conscience stemming from copyrigh laws.
And then! - Not the end, because that just couldn't have been bad enough. Let's simply mention two other fanfics (Kafka and LotR) and make fun of them, because obviously the word limit wasn't reached yet and she needed to write something, anything.
But now, the end. And the realisation that her twitter account is offline since 4pm today. I guess, I know why.