Welcome to the course unit about the German Media System. Germany is the most populated and probably most powerful country in the EU, located in the center of Europe. Its media system has many unique features, which we seek out to explain in the following chapters. You will also find a full transcript in the tabs next to the video, as well as additional learning material and links. Click below to view a short summary of the most important facts.

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Quick Facts about the German Media System
  • Long history of printed press; the media system especially influenced by the experience of the Nazi dictatorship and the German division
  • Germany’s demographics are changing due to an aging society and migration; representation and diversity in the media is a challenge
  • Germany has a dual broadcasting system: a range of public-funded channels, free from state control and commercially financed private broadcasters
  • Newspapers are widespread, but struggle with declining sales due to the rise of online media
  • Television is the most popular medium
  • Germany has a liberal legal framework for the press and ranks 12th in the press freedom index of Reporters Without Borders
  • The media landscape is dominated by several media companies: Bertelsmann, Axel Springer, Pro7Sat1 AG and Funke Mediengruppe
  • The journalistic profession is free of access, but worsening market conditions and an increasing workload due to cross media make it harder to get into the field
  • Germans use social media rather conservatively and there is a widespread skepticism about data security

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