Newspapers in Germany
Germany has a long history of mass media. The world's oldest preserved
newspapers were founded here as early as the 17th century. German is the largest
single language in the EU, about 100 million are native speakers, and several of
Germany's media companies also operate in Austria and parts of Switzerland.
After the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, major changes
occurred in former East Germany, mainly through democratization and
privatization. From 2000 onwards, it is primarily new technology in the IT
sector that has created new consumption patterns and business models across the
Internet and mobile telephony
More than 80% of the population has access to the internet, but access is
increasing sharply as more and more people use mobile broadband to connect.
Global players like Facebook, Google, YouTube and eBay dominate the list of the
most visited sites. The news magazine Der Spiegel and the sensational tabloid
Bild are the only national players who have sites that qualify for ten in the
The German mobile market is the largest in Europe in terms of subscribers and
sales. It is dominated by two companies, domestic Deutsche Telekom and British
Vodafone. Dutch E-plus and Spanish O2 also have their own mobile network. In
addition, there are nearly 40 virtual operators who buy capacity from operators
with their own network.
Almost the entire country is covered by the 3G network, except for some white
spots in the countryside.
TV and radio
Radio was established in 1923. The Swedish Post Office was responsible for
the technology and private regional broadcasters for the programs, which however
were coordinated in a national program. The radio was nationalized in 1932.
After World War II, the radio became a decentralized organization in the west,
while in the east it became highly centralized. With the same structure, the
first East German TV channel was started in 1952 and the first West German TV
channel in 1954.
Following the reunification, the etheric media in Germany is divided into two
main groups: license-financed public service channels and advertising-funded
The license financed are organized by two companies, the ARD
(Arbeitsgemeinschaft der public-law Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik
Deutschland) and ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen). All the state's program
operations are part of the ARD, which with a budget of € 7.5 billion and just
over 21,000 employees is the world's largest public service organization after
the British BBC (2012). ARD has several nationwide radio and TV channels, some
50 local and regional radio stations and seven regional TV stations.
ZDF was started in 1963 as a complement to ARD. The range includes mainly
niche channels such as the cultural channels 3sat (in collaboration with Austria
and Switzerland) and Arte (in collaboration with France).
Commercial TV is controlled by two groups: ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG and
Bertelsmann. Together they have almost 50% of the TV market with around 15
channels. The biggest channels are ProSieben's Sat1 and Bertelsmann's RTL. In
addition, there are a large number of digital pay channels. The largest is Sky
Deutschland, owned by media mogul Robert Murdoch's News Corporation.
The German radio market is very decentralized and divided at the state level.
Each state has an average of six public service channels and twice as many
commercial channels. There are two nationwide channels, both license funded. In
total, there are about 150 different channels, of which ARD is behind some 50.
The German daily press is characterized by a large number of titles with many
local editions. If all editions are included under their own name, the country
has almost 1,500 different newspapers. There are only a few nationwide
newspapers. The largest is Bild, published by the Springer Group, with an
edition of over 3 million copies. (2012), making it Europe's largest daily
newspaper. Other nationwide newspapers are the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,
the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Tageszeitung and the Frankfurter Rundschau. All are
The daily press has lost a lot of circulation since the beginning of the
1990s and the income from investments in the internet has not compensated for
the reduced turnover, but despite this, Germany is still a country where the
daily press is relatively strong, compared to, for example, France.
The first attempts at daily publishing were made in Germany in the mid-17th
century, and at the end of the century there were newspapers in all major German
cities. During the 18th century and most of the 19th century, the development of
censorship and imposition was slowed down. The censorship was abolished in 1848
and eventually also state involvement in the newspaper publishing.
At the end of the 19th century, the first newspapers were launched in Berlin
aimed at a wide audience. The newspaper type, called Generalanzeiger
and had French and American role models, was characterized by a focus on news,
low price, subscription and home delivery and was mainly ad-financed.
The first newspaper of this kind, Berliner Lokal Anzeiger, was started in
1883 by August Scherl. The most successful was Berliner Morgenpost, founded in
1898 by Leopold Ullstein. When the ban on selling newspapers on the street was
lifted in Berlin, Ullstein's publishing company in 1904 started the lunchtime
magazine BZ am Mittag, which got many followers. The successes attracted a
consortium led by industrialist Alfred Hugenberg to the industry. Hugenberg
acquired, among other things, newspapers and a news agency and took over the
film company Ufa. Using industrial methods, the Hugenberg Group was developed
into Europe's largest media group during the interwar period. During the 1930s
it was gradually nationalized. Other newspapers were taken over by the regime or
forced to shut down.
After World War II, the Allies in the West sought to create a regional
pressure structure to avoid monopoly formation. The newspaper publishing was
regulated until 1949 with a license agreement. The licensees were gradually
allowed to start editions, which laid the foundation for today's system of main
magazines with many editions. A typical example is the Westdeutsche Allgemeine
Zeitung (founded in 1948), with 50 local editions.
In East Germany, another press structure was created with a leading national
newspaper, Neues Deutschland (founded in 1946), a number of regional newspapers
and magazines intended for special groups, such as youth and sports enthusiasts.
After the Second World War, the newspaper center was moved from Berlin to
Hamburg. It laid the foundation for the largest post-war newspaper group, the
Springer Group. Axel Springer started with two program magazines, of which
Hörzu, founded in 1946, has an edition of 1.4 million copies. (2012). He
continued with Hamburger Abendblatt in 1948 and started 1952 Bild-Zeitung (since
1971 Bild), which developed into a nationally spread sensation newspaper and
which reached 5 million copies in the mid-1960s, an edition development without
equivalent in German press history.
The 2012 Springer Group controls over 20% of the daily press edition. None of
the other newspaper houses has more than 10% of the market.
Weekly press and magazine
The German-language magazine market is Europe's largest with over 900 titles.
The trade press, including more than a thousand magazines, is added.
The weekly magazine Der Spiegel, founded in 1946 with American Time Magazine
as the role model, is the most influential politically and has a circulation of
just over 1 million copies. (2012). The biggest competitor is Focus, founded in
1993. Both put a lot of resources into investigative journalism and often stand
for revelations that shake the political establishment.
The weekly magazine Stern, with a circulation of just over 1 million copies,
also devotes itself to investigative journalism, but more focused on sensations
and rich visual material. Stern's credibility suffered a major setback when the
magazine published in 1983 what it claimed to be Adolf Hitler's diaries. They
turned out to be counterfeit and the entire newspaper management had to resign.
German magazines have a long history. Already in the mid-19th century a
number of magazines became international role models. This includes Gartenlaube
(1853-1944), which is regarded as the first weekly newspaper, as well as the
jokes magazines Fliegende Blätter (1844-1928) and Kladderadatsch (1848-1944).
During the 1890s, illustrated weekly magazines such as the Berliner Illustrierte
Zeitung and Die Woche came.
After the Nazis seized power in 1933, all press was censored and special
guidelines were issued regarding how different subjects would be described.
After the end of the Second World War, state control of the media continued in
East Germany, while West Germany introduced freedom of expression and expression
in its constitution.
Book and publishing system
Gutenberg's edition of the 42-line Bible (c. 1454, Mainz) and Johann Fusts
(c. 1466) and Peter Schöffers (c. 1430, c. 1503). In these, for the first time,
printing place, year of printing and letterpress mark were stated. The highlight
of the Inconvenient Age was reached by Erhard Ratdolt (born 1447, died about
1527) in Augsburg, whose specialty was liturgical literature.
During the early 16th century, Leipzig was Germany's leading city; inter alia
Nikolaus Wolrab (active in Leipzig 1537-47) published Luther's (by Cranach et
al.) illustrated whole Bible 1541. The thirty-year war, like hardening
censorship, depleted book production in the 1600s. Leipzig remained, and Cologne
and Frankfurt developed into the main places for printing companies.
The Cotta family ran bookstore and publishing business 1659–1889; Johann
Friedrich Cotta von Cottendorf (1764-1832) was the publisher of Goethe and
Schiller. The modern tradition in Leipzig was started by Bernhard Breitkopf
(1695-1777) who in 1719 founded the firm Breitkopf & Härtel. The son Johann
Breitkopf (1719–94) led the firm to its forefront in the typographic field. In
Berlin, Johann Unger (1753-1804) established the first significant printing
press in 1780.
During the 19th century, essential inventions were made for the printing
industry: the cylinder throttle press 1812, the stereotype 1816 and the setter
machines (Linotype 1884, Monotype 1897). The publishing and printing operations
were separated and several specialized book publishers were founded, e.g.
Advertising 1828, Insel-Verlag 1902, Ullstein 1903.
The publication of pocket books in the series "Reclams Universal-Library"
began in 1867; until 1945, 7,600 titles were published in more than 280 million
copies. Literally important publishers are Suhrkamp Verlag, Carl Hanser Verlag,
Rowohlt Verlag, S. Fischer Verlag and Piper Verlag and Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH,
owned by Bonnier. In the former East Germany there were several prominent
publishers, among others. Aufbau Verlag (language, fiction) and Volk und Wissen
Volkseigens Verlag (universal publisher).
As in other Western countries, the trend towards publishing groups and media
groups has been strong. The largest media groups with extensive book publishing
include Bertelsmann, Springer, Holtzbrinck and Weltbild.
Book fairs have been held in Frankfurt since the 16th century and from the
early 18th century until the Second World War in Leipzig, which was a central
place for international bookstores. The Frankfurt Book Fair since 1949 is the
largest and most important annual international book fair. It is run by a
company owned by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, an association
founded in 1825 in Leipzig, which includes a department for bookstores and one
for publishers. The association created a binding copyright and laid the
foundation for the German National Bibliographic Center (Deutsche Bücherei and
Deutsche Bibliothek). Every year the association awards the prestigious
Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels and since 1952 publishes the annual
industry statistics "Buch und Buchhandel in Zahlen".
After the fall of the wall, Berlin has become an intellectual center,
favoring book publishers. Hamburg has also become the center of the book
alongside Frankfurt, Munich and Leipzig. In Germany and Austria, there has been
a system of fixed prices for books for more than a hundred years. The agreement
means that the publishers set the price and that the bookstore must not
discount. The price is set in negotiations between bookstore and publisher.
Since German is spoken in both countries, trade between them is great, although
it is mostly moving from Germany to Austria.
According to Börsenverein statistics, sales in 2012 were EUR 9.52 billion and
the number of newly issued titles was 79,860 (general literature and teaching
materials). The sale of books over the Internet has been successful in recent
years and represented 16.5% of the sales value. Leading players on the Internet
are Amazon and Weltbild.
E-books accounted for 2.4% of sales, which was three times as much as 2011.
See also Baedeker, Bibliographisches Institut, Brockhaus, and Tauchnitz.
Regionalism, which is one of the basic
features of German history, is clearly evident in
cultural life. There is no self-written cultural
metropolis, but many cultural centers, which have been
built up over the centuries. Nor does the Federal
Government pursue any central cultural policy. The
Ministry of Culture is only available at the state
German music, literature and philosophy have produced
a number of significant works that have influenced
cultural development in other countries as well. In the
late 18th century, famous writers such as Johann
Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller made the city of
Weimar a cultural center. German romance during the
first half of the 19th century had its centers in Jena
and Heidelberg, from where impulses were sent to the
rest of Europe. Among the great poets of the 19th
century were Heinrich Heine and at the end of the
century Rainer Maria Rilke, who had great influence on
modern lyricism. In the early 1900s, Thomas Mann, who
was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize for the novel
Buddenbrooks, and Herman Hesse became the big names
in Roman art. Author Erich Maria Remarque gave
nothing new on the Western Frontan unmistakable
depiction of the reality of war. The playwright Bertold
Brecht had great success with, among other things, the
twelve-part opera. Other known names are
Heinrich Böll, Christa Wolf and Günter Grass.
Romanian-German author Herta Müller received the Nobel
Prize in Literature 2009. In recent years, writers such
as Judith Hermann, Daniel Kehlmann, Felicitas Hoppe and
Juli Zeh have become popular in Sweden.
Latest population statistics of Germany, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Adolf Hitler's entry into power in 1933 led to mass
exodus of cultural figures from Germany. After the end
of the war in 1945, a new generation of West German
writers began to settle with their country's past. Among
the most famous are Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, both
of whom have received the Nobel Prize for their novels.
Germany has old music traditions that survived into
our time, for example Dresdner Staatskapelle
from 1548 and Leipzig's Thomask Choir dating
back to the 13th century. The classical music tradition
is kept alive through annual music festival games, such
as the Beethoven-Bach and Mozart weeks as well as the
Wagner festival games in Bayreuth. In the early 1900s,
composers such as Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg and Anton
Webern renewed the classical music tradition through the
twelve-tone technique, but this was banned during the
Nazi era. After the end of the war, West Germany
regained its place as a musical center. In popular
music, singer Ute Lemper has become a world name.
After the end of the Second World War, the leading
German scenes ended up in East Berlin, including the
Deutsches Theater, the Komische Oper, the Volksbühne and
the Berlin Ensemble, where Bertolt Brecht was artistic
director in 1949-1956. In West Berlin, among others,
Deutsche Oper and Schaubühne were set up. When Berlin
was reunited in 1989, the city thus received an unusual
number of significant cultural institutions.
The GDR government (East Germany) invested great
resources on culture but at the same time set tight
limits on cultural life. Poets, playwrights, painters
and other artists were forced to participate in
political propaganda. Several cultural workers chose to
leave the GDR. Others wanted to stop and work for
greater artistic freedom but were expelled, like the
poet Wolf Biermann.
In the German film, well-known works were created
already in the 1920s with expressionists such as Robert
Wiene and FW Murnau and Fritz Lang, among others, with
the dark vision of the future Metropolis. Ernst
Lubitsch was known as a director as early as 1922 when
he moved to the United States. Leni Riefenstahl's
documentary films during the Nazi era were based on a
technique and aesthetic that influenced later
filmmakers. The film got a new heyday in the 1970s with
names such as Werner Herzog, Volker Schlöndorff, Wim
Wenders, Margarethe von Trotta and Rainer Werner
Fassbinder. Among award-winning filmmakers in recent
years include Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, Academy
Award-winning 2007 for The Life of the Others,
and Fatih Akin, Gold Bear Award 2004 for Against the
Wall. For Germany public policy, please check
Angela Merkel re-elected as party leader
The Christian Democratic CDU Party Congress elects Angela Merkel as party
leader with close to 98 percent of delegates' votes. She receives standing
ovations as Germany's by far the most popular politician with more popular
support than any other Chancellor since World War II.
Clear sign from the Constitutional Court to the ESM
After several weeks of deliberations, the court concludes that the euro zone
rescue fund ESM and the EU financial pact do not contravene Germany's
constitution. Thousands of Germans had notified the financial pact and crisis
fund to the court. However, the Court sets certain conditions, including a
ceiling for the size of Germany's contribution which, according to the ruling,
may only be exceeded by decision of the Bundestag.
Support for crisis fund and financial pact
The government receives the opposition's support in the Federal Day of the EU
Financial Pact and the Eurozone Crisis Fund (ESM), whose approval requires a
two-thirds majority. Germany will account for more than a quarter of the ESM, or
almost EUR 22 billion in cash, and guarantees of just over EUR 168 billion. In
order to support the government, the SPD demands, among other things, that
Germany work for growth measures in the EU and a European tax on financial
transactions. The left decides to report the financial pact and the crisis fund
to the Constitutional Court.
Elections in Saarland
In the election to the Saarland state parliament, the FDP resigns and the CDU
goes backwards. CDU forms government with SPD. The Pirate Party enters
Joachim Gauck is elected new president
He gets 991 votes out of 1232 in the vote in the Federal Assembly. The
counter candidate is journalist and Nazi reviewer Beate Klarsfeld. The
72-year-old priest Gauck, who was a leading critic of the communist dictatorship
in East Germany, enjoys broad support among the people. He has led the
investigation into East German security service Stasis's operations.
German support for new grants to Greece
The Bundestag approves the new euro zone support program for Greece. 496 of
591 members vote yes.
Wulff is leaving
Following new disclosures about President Wulff's financial affairs,
prosecutors are demanding that his legal immunity be revoked. The president's
situation becomes untenable and he leaves office. Wulff's departure is a severe
political hardship for Merkel, who fought in the headwind for Wulff's candidacy
when he was elected.