Germany - Media

Since reunification, postal services have been under the jurisdiction of the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst and telecommunications under Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. Intensive capital investments since reunification have rapidly modernized and integrated most of the obsolete telephone network of the former GDR. In 2001, Germany had nearly 60 million main line telephones and 55 million mobile cellular phones. There were 11 regional broadcasting corporations, including Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, which operates Channel Two nationally. In 1999 there were 77 AM, 1,621 FM, and 373 television stations. In 2000, Germany had 948 radios and 586 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were about 336 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 200 Internet service providers serving 28.6 million users.

There are hundreds of newspapers, both daily and weekly, as well as a large number of periodicals. The German Press Agency, owned by German newspaper publishers and publishers' organizations, furnishes domestic and international news. There are hundreds of small press agencies and services.

Of the newspapers sold on the street, the Bildzeitung has the largest circulation (4.5 million a day as of 1995). The largest subscription paper is the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (621,000). Other influential daily national newspapers (with 2002 circulation rates) are: the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt, 471,000); the Express (Cologne, 468,800); the Sachsische Zeitung (Dresden, 416,800); Rheinische Post (Duesseldorf, 443,100); Bild (Hamburg, 5.7 million); and Suddeutsche Zeitung (Munich, 470,200). Major weeklies (with 1995 circulation) include Die Zeit (493,000), Rheinischer Merkur (111,150), and Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt (89,200). Over 20,000 periodicals are published in Germany. The best-known internationally is the news magazine Der Spiegel (1,057,000), which is modeled after the American Time magazine.

The Basic Law provides for free press rights, and the government mostly supports these rights in practice, though propaganda of Nazi and certain other proscribed groups is illegal, as are statements endorsing Nazism.

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