A German TV reporter has been suspended after footage emerged of her smearing mud on her face before going on camera to report from a town devastated by deadly flooding.
A video filmed by an onlooker and posted to social media shows Susanna Ohlen, 39, in the town of Bad Munstereifel, appearing to wipe mud on herself as her camera crew stood by.
The person filming can be heard chuckling.
The 39-year-old reporter, who has worked for RTL.de since 2008, later went on camera claiming to have been helping clean-up efforts.
At least 173 people were killed in Bad Munstereifel in what has been described as the area's worst floods in 700 years.
German broadcaster suspends reporter
After the footage went viral online, the German broadcaster issued a statement confirming Ohlen had been suspended over the incident.
“Our reporter's approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards. We therefore gave her a leave of absence on Monday, after we heard about it.”
Reporter responds to suspension on Instagram
Ms Ohlen has since responded on Instagram saying she made a "serious mistake".
"I made a serious mistake on Monday in the flood area in front of the switch for Guten Morgen Deutschland," the post, written in German and translated to English, begins.
"After I had already helped privately in the region on the previous days, I was ashamed in front of the other helpers that morning to stand in front of the camera in a clean top. Then, without thinking twice, I smeared mud on my clothes.
"As a journalist, this should never have happened to me. As a person who cares about the suffering of all those affected, it happened to me. I beg your pardon, Susanna Ohlen."
Ohlen had been with the network since 2008.
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