ERIC Number: ED337831
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Update on Germany: Now Eastern Germany Gets a Free Press. Special Report SO 8, 1991.
Since the former East German Communist State--the German Democratic Republic (GDR)--was incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany, the federal constitution has been valid throughout the whole of Germany, guaranteeing press freedom and ending press censorship in eastern Germany. In October 1989, the GDR had 39 daily newspapers (many published by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), 31 weekly papers and illustrated magazines, over 500 technical and specialized periodicals, and over 600 church papers and factory newspapers. A system of guidance and control by the SED rendered direct censorship unnecessary since, as a matter of course, the press published only what was acceptable to the SED. The period between October 1989 and October 1990 is seen in retrospect to have been a time of great experimentation and freedom for the press. Less than 2 years after the democratic transformation of the GDR, the structural shape of the West German press has become entrenched in most parts of the five new federal states: there are only a few supra-regional newspapers; the regional press has established a strong position; there is virtually no party press; and the press has become "concentrated" as mergers between publishing chains continue and as competition forces some newspapers and periodicals out of business. The large West German publishing concerns are likely to gain the edge on the market in eastern Germany. At the same time, foreign multi-media concerns have gained a foothold in the new federal states. This increasing globalization of the mass media (especially regarding former communist states) is of concern and interest to media students. (One table of data is included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Inter Nationes, Bonn (West Germany).
Identifiers: East Germany; Germany; Media Government Relationship; Newspaper Ownership
Note: Translated by G. McLaren Thomson.