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Germany – (E4) Minority / Alternative media

Score in short:

Minorities’ informational needs are respected and served by the German news media.

Score in detail:

This indicator has to be differentiated and is related specifically to the situation of a) the largest ethnic minority in Germany, the Turks b) disabled people and c) women – a majority which has been treated as a minority for a long time and still in some parts of the society is. The category “minority languages” is not appropriate for Germany, as there is no second official language. unfortunately, there is no updated list of the Turkish newspapers that are published in Germany and report on German issues. So we have to rely on data from 2002, which seems to be consistent with the current situation. Halm lists eleven fairly large daily newspapers (2006). The most current report on the situation of Turkish media in Germany counts eight daily and two weekly newspapers. And there are several local and regional newspapers of limited reach that are displayed, for example, in mosques (Foertsch). Furthermore, there are three fairly important radio stations reporting about and produced in Germany: Radio multikulti, Funkhaus Europa and Radyo Metropol. There are also two bigger TV stations: TRT-Int and Kanal D, of which the latter is owned (as well as the dailies Hürriyet and Milliyet) by the powerful Dogan-Media Group (Schneider & Arnold 2006; Foertsch). Taking a look at reach and patterns of use, the findings indicate a similarity with German media with regard to TV reach (89 % German, 83 % Turkish) and Internet reach (28 % German, 20 % Turkish). A major difference, however, is apparent in radio reach, 84 % for Germans and only 22 % for Turks (Simon 2007, p. 431). Generally, the market share of commercial stations among migrants is quite high, as the programmes mainly watched are ProSieben (13.4 %), RTL (11.7 %) and Sat1 (5.5 %). These stations, however, are not at all news oriented. The media use of migrants does not significantly differ from Germans’ media use: 96 % use TV, 76 % the radio, 61 % a daily newspaper and 53 % the Internet more than once a week (Klingler & Kutteroff 2009, p. 305). Investigating whether migrants use media in German or in their mother tongue, Windgasse (2007) showed that the German media dominate migrants’ (Windgasse researched Turks, Greeks, yugoslavs and Italians) media use by far (Table 9):

Table 9. Media use of migrants in Germany (at least once a week)

  Daily newspaper TV Radio Internet
German-speaking Media 48 % 87.1 % 61.3 % 19.1 %
Native-language Media 27.8 % 48.4 % 21.2 % 5.9 %

Source: Windgasse 2007, p. 157.

With regard to the disabled, we find a notable list of special regular TV programmes including magazines like Stolperstein (BR) and Sehen statt hören (NDR, weekly). In addition, the major public news programme is simultaneously broadcasted in German sign language on the information channel Phoenix. Additionally, the association for handicaps and media (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Medien) produces TV magazines about and for disabled people on a regular basis for the stations Kabel 1, DSF and 3Sat – and local stations in the Munich area.

Finally, the media representation of women’s issues is also satisfying. A diversity of formats and magazines exists in both the TV and the print media sectors. We have prominent TV magazines like Mona Lisa or FrauTV (both aired by public broadcasting) and the popular printed magazines Emma and Brigitte. With regard to patterns of media use, significant differences – with the exception of Internet usage – between male and female patterns cannot be detected: TV (207 / 233 minutes per day for men / women), radio (183/ 169 minutes per day), Internet (71.2 % / 57.9 % share of frequent online users) and newspapers (74.4 % / 70.5 % reach) (Gerhards & Klingler 2009, p. 663; Media Perspektiven Basisdaten 2006, pp. 80, 82, 84).