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Germany – (C3) Transparency of data on media system

Score in short:

Transparency of the complete media system is given and available for the public.

Score in detail:

Print and online media are legally obliged to publicize an imprint – with the name and address of the publisher – in every edition. The clear duty to inform about the publishing person or company is formulated in national law (Telemediengesetz).

The market share of each commercial provider is legally restricted to 30 %. There are legal provisions to ensure plurality: Plurality of ownership is guaranteed by national law and controlled by the Bundeskartellamt, the German antitrust agency. Additionally, there is a special commission that assesses and reports the degree of concentration within the media market with a special focus on the television market (KEK – Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich). Concentration in the print market is assessed and evaluated by the commercial research institute FormaTT.

Both institutions publish their reports; KEK also provides a free Internet database. Reports on structural data of the German media system are provided by the public service media. Some reports are freely available on the Internet – e.g., the monthly journal Media Perspektiven, which presents the latest results from research on the reach, use and concentration of the media. The Landesmedienanstalten promote and finance research on the media system, in 2009 with a grant of 20,000 Euros (ALM-Jahrbuch 2008, p. 461). A complete list of all projects is presented in the annual reports.