Regional Press Diversity in Germany and Austria

The project is a critical analysis of the economic and journalistic development of regional press in both countries from 1995 until 2005.
Project manager
External project manager
Prof. Dr. Klaus Beck (Freie Universität Berlin)
External Staff
Dr. Ramona Vonbun, FU Berlin
Simon Berghofer, MA, FU Berlin
Dr. Leyla Dogruel, FU Berlin
Partners
  • Freie Universität Berlin
Funding
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF, Österreich)
Runtime
11/30/2015 – 05/30/2018
Status
finished

Changes in Media

The radical changes in media and the editorial system do not only affect national quality press but also the local and regional newspapers in Germany and Austria. Declining circulation, concentration of ownership, merging of titles, cooperation and even fusion of editorial units could be seen as a danger for the journalistic diversity in regional media markets where no relevant media alternatives exist.

Analysis and Comparison

Assuming that national press policies in democratic nations aim at safeguarding journalistic diversity as a high ranked normative goal in applying different policy measures we employ a bi-national comparison of the long term consequences of different press policies. Studied areas are

1. regional market structures
2. the regional journalistic diversity
3. the diversity of news coverage within a certain newspaper

Bringing together the lines of press concentration research, journalism quality and diversity research, and media policy research the research team analyses the structure of the regional press markets in both countries and their development over the past two decades.

Journalistic diversity today?

Based on this research one stable regional newspaper market for each country and two dynamic regions where either concentration (Germany) or diversification (Austria) of the press has taken place are identified. Individual organizational strategies of the relevant publishers from 1995 until 2015 are reconstructed. Considering those new developments, new light will be shed on press diversity.