Media and Communication in Germany
As we have mentioned in our articles on German culture, Germany does not fall short when it comes to entertainment. However, various daily and weekly newspapers and TV channels serve as (more or less) objective news sources. However, as most people in Germany have an internet connection, online news sources are becoming increasingly popular. Those who do not have an internet connection at home often use their mobile phone or Wifi hotspots to go online. Traditional ways of communication, like the mail, are in decline but still available of course. The German postal service has only been privatized in 1995 and still dominates the market.
Media and Communication in Germany: Newspapers, Radio, TV
German newspapers, although large in the number of titles, is going through a rough time as it is facing fierce competition from television and online sources. Despite all the challenges, however, newspapers are still the leading advertising medium in the country. The most popular and also most criticized newspaper in Germany is the tabloid Bild. If you are looking for reading material in your native-language, you should check newspaper stands at train stations and airports. Unlike print media in Germany, radio and TV are strictly regulated. This applies particularly to public stations which receive federal funding. But even commercial television stations must comply with certain standards, offer a range of opinion and cannot be dominated by political bias. No matter if you prefer television or radio programs, if you have a TV, radio, or computer with internet at home, you are required to pay broadcasting fees.
Media and Communication in Germany: Internet and Telephone
Internet access, telephone lines, and mobile phones are widely available all over Germany. For all three options, there is an abundance of offers, plans, and providers. In all cases, it is smart to compare offers and read the fine print as the rates differ greatly and not every offer is as great as it sounds. Internet and landline connections are usually provided as a combined package, complete with a flat rate. However, for short-term stays, you might as well make use of public Wifi hotspots. Mobile phone services are just as varied. For some people it actually makes sense to rely completely on their mobile phone and avoid getting an internet and telephone connection at home. So called “pre-paid” phones offer the highest amount of flexibility.