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Germany – (C8) Professional training

Score in short:

In Germany, there is no serious lack of opportunities for journalism training.

Score in detail:

At least three of the sampled news media run their own academy. In most cases, there is also a possibility to attend extra courses at academies and institutes or courses held by experts providing specialized knowledge. Only one editorship does not offer any journalism training. The journalists’ unions provide a certain, but small, amount of professional training courses as well.

The next question, of course, is whether there is a great demand for such courses. All editors confirmed that there was a continuous demand and that most of the journalists in their editorial offices regularly took part in training courses. But continuous training is expensive. The newsroom needs to be sufficiently staffed for one or two colleagues to attend a course lasting several days. Also, sufficient funds need to be set aside for on-going professional training. Finally, journalists need to be encouraged by their superiors. Because most of the news media in our sample belong to financially sound publishing or broadcasting corporations, they have sufficient financial and staff resources at their disposal to enable on-going journalism training. ZDF and WDR, for example, emphasized their eagerness to provide training. WAZ claimed to have sufficient financial resources to enable continuous journalistic training and monitoring on the job. Thus, the company is currently working on a programme. In sum, it appears that financial resources, the encouragement of journalists, and a variety of training opportunities in most of the companies provide a solid basis for journalism training. There is, however, no formal obligation to take part in training programmes, and therefore, due to the generally heavy workload in editorial offices, in some cases there simply may be no time for additional courses.