German Mass Media after Reunification: Major Development Vectors

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Galina F. Voronenkova

Doctor of Philology, Professor at the Chair of Foreign Journalism and Literature, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Director of the Free Russian-German Institute for Journalism (FRDIP), Moscow, Russia

Elena M. Gaponova

Lead Manager for Methodological Support and Coordination of Social Work at the International Union of German Culture, Moscow, Russia

Maria G. Maslina

PhD in Philology, Researcher at the Chair of History and Legal Regulation of Domestic Media, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Alexander V. Christenko

VGTRK Political Observer, Moscow, Russia


Section: Foreign Journalism

The article examines the economic development of German mass media after the reunification of the two German states, West and East Germany. The scientific novelty and relevance of the study are based on the fact that media development in Germany has primarily taken place due to the transformation of the media system itself, i.e. the unification of the media systems of two states with different socio-political systems. The importance of the study is that the economic development of German mass media was constantly carried out across all paradigms, making changes to the entire systemic and structural body. Media concentration influenced the rotation of a dozen of the strongest print media outlets, which lost circulation because of a decrease in advertising revenues and their migration to the electronic media and the Internet. The researchers documented transactions in the regional newspaper segment, recording mergers and acquisitions. According to many analysts, the media market crisis, which began in Germany at the turn of 2000–2001, not only made its adjustments but also revealed new development trends. The process of digitalization began in 2000 with the program “The Internet for all”. Since 2010, digitalization has been the main thrust of the Federal Government’s ICT strategy based on the program “Digital Germany 2015”. However, several publications and studies of 2018/2019 claimed that Germany is a digital outsider. The authors studied the stages of economic development of German mass media over the past 30 years in the aspects historical, economic and substantive aspects, attempting to focus on the current situation.

Keywords: mass media, reunified Germany, media market crisis, print and audiovisual mass media, concern, digitalization, development vector
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.6.2020.182208


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