W.ow would it look like, the world without a free press, in which only public and private radio broadcasts inform the population? What would it be like in the cities and villages in which there are no more local and regional newspapers? Sorry, that much is certain. Because there are places and regions that the broadcasters have not yet been able to take care of, at least in the larger states. These are places and regions where private publishing houses have been there for centuries to inform people – about local politics and events in the neighborhood, about clubs and associations, about schools and kindergartens, about the people who live there, their concerns and Needs.
Public broadcasting is to be further expanded – although it has fluffed itself up in the past few decades, with special-interest programs from ARDalpha to ZDFneo, in 21 television stations and 74 radio waves. It has to become more local and regional, that’s what Yvette Gerner, director of Radio Bremen, sees as the future of ARD and ZDF. In a guest article for this newspaper, she wrote of a reform of the public service law to “regional anchors in the world”. A situation like the one in Great Britain or the USA, a “sell-out of local newspapers”, where gaps in supply in the local, regional area developed, which could damage democracy, must be avoided. Are public broadcasters discovering grassroots journalism?