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What Is the State of Journalism in Germany?

What Is the State of Journalism in Germany?

The average German journalist is male, 45.3 years old, has an academic degree, works full-time in the print or online section of a newspaper or magazine, and often feels stressed. The findings of our latest journalist survey are now summarized in a video.

Although our average journalist is still male, the proportion of women in the industry has increased in recent years, rising from 40 to 44 percent since 2015. Traditional print houses are still the most important employers. Just over half of German journalists work for a newspaper or magazine publisher. Television and radio each account for 17 percent. Like our average journalist, almost 90 percent of those surveyed work full-time. 80 percent are permanent employees.
 
This data, which is now summarized in a video, was collected by our researchers Wiebke Loosen and Anna von Garmissen in their study. They interviewed over 1,200 journalists in Germany to find out how things are going in German journalism. The survey was representative. The data can therefore be used to draw conclusions about the industry as a whole.

The study is part of the DFG project “Journalism under Duress”, which is being conducted as part of the global research series “World of Journalism”, led and coordinated by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The video was produced by Alma Bartels and illustrated by Yuliia Ukrainets.

 

Experiences with Stress and the Discrediting of Work

Many journalists in Germany are under pressure. Every second person states that they have “often” or “very often” suffered from stress at work in the past six months. The majority of respondents have also experienced humiliating or hateful comments in the last five years. Around 62 percent have experienced public discrediting of their work.

How do journalists in Germany perceive their role in society? For them, one of the most important tasks is to provide information and enable people to form an opinion. It is also very important for them to counteract disinformation, classify current events and observe them impartially.

Journalistic Ethics and Freedom

Journalists in Germany continue to hold the standards of their industry high. 98% of those surveyed stated that they would not accept money from information sources under any circumstances. Gifts of products or services would not be accepted by 87% under any circumstances.
 
According to more than three quarters of respondents, freedom of expression in Germany is “very” or “completely free”. Time pressure and the availability of resources for reporting are perceived as the strongest influences on journalistic work. In the eyes of the respondents, government officials and state censorship have the least influence.
 
These and other findings on German journalism can be found in this working paper by Wiebke Loosen and Anna von Garmissen (pdf in German).
 
Illustration: Yuliia Ukrainets

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