Different perspectives: Germans pay for their news

Beyond Borders

BERLIN, Germany (Big 2/FOX 24) – We also spent some time learning about the German news industry. What may surprise you, Germans pay a fee for public television and radio.

They say it could be one reason there’s a contrast between their viewers and Americans.

“The idea of all the public television and radio stations is not to make money at all. they are there to serve the German people,” says Florian Bauer, German News Anchor.

The media landscape in Germany is vastly different than in the United States. The bottom line, Germans have to pay for much of their news. In fact, households in that country pay about 17 and a half euros a month.

“The idea is to make television independent, independent from the government, from the state,” says Jens Eberl, German News Reporter.

“If the ratings go down, then it’s not so bad because we have our public fees anyway,” says Michael Meyer, German National Public Radio.

“People are very concerned in the issues of what’s going on in the world. what kind of conflicts do we have, how safe are we,” says Eberl.

However, it’s not a fool proof system.

“The downside might be that every station has a board. On these boards there are politicians,” says Meyers. “Every once in a while there’s some debate about some program or whatever, so I would say… a little political influence.”

German commercial tv stations don’t receive that public funding. To give you a perspective on that, they didn’t emerge until the 1980’s. In America, the first commercial broadcast took place in the 1940’s.

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