The ARD (abbreviation for A rbeitsgemeinschaft the public R undfunkanstalten the Federal Republic of D erm ) is a broadcast composite consisting of the regional broadcasting authorities and the DW is. It was founded in 1950 and, together with ZDF and Deutschlandradio, forms the public broadcaster in Germany . The ARD is largely financed from the broadcasting fee and includes joint programs and offers such as Das Erste , dieARD media library and the ARD audio library .
The ARD is based on the federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany: Each federal state is entitled to a broadcaster. Historically, the federal broadcasting structure goes back to the early days of broadcasting in Germany in the 1920s, when individual broadcasters were established in Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria and Württemberg and were loosely organized in the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft . The National Socialists centralized broadcasting from 1933 and largely disrupted the federal structure. The ARD was founded on June 9, 1950 by the then six state broadcasting corporations Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), Radio Bremen , Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR), Südwestfunk (SWF) and Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) and - with an advisory vote - RIAS Berlin founded. It served the cooperation in different areas and should exclude the preparation of an amalgamation. The form of the working group allowed the members their full independence.
The ARD program could also be received in the German Democratic Republic , which ARD intended. Reception was only not possible in certain regions, such as the Elbe Valley , Saxon Switzerland and Upper Lusatia , which is why the abbreviation “ARD” was jokingly interpreted as “out of Dresden” or “out of reach of Dresden”, and so was the region Called " Valley of the Unsuspecting ". The ARD radio programs broadcast via long , medium and short wave could be received in these areas . The Deutschlandfunk program broadcast on the Donebach long-wave transmitter was very easy to receive throughout the GDR.
During the 1950s, the preparation and broadcast of the first joint television program in the Federal Republic of Germany began. After the foundation of the Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) and the division of the NWDR into Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR) and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) as well as the establishment of the Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), the ARD had nine members in 1959. They operated the community television program broadcast nationwide under the name "Deutsches Fernsehen". Further changes in the membership structure of the ARD followed: in 1962 the newly founded federal broadcasters Deutschlandwelle (DW) and Deutschlandfunk were added, in 1992 - after German reunification - the new regional broadcasting corporations Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg (ORB). In 1994 Deutschlandfunk and RIAS merged with Deutschlandradio , which is jointly supported by ARD and ZDF, and left the ARD network. Most recently, SDR and SWF merged to form Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in 1998 and ORB and SFB to form Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) in 2003 .
The nine broadcasting corporations that have merged to form ARD operate Das Erste as a joint television program, as well as their own television and radio programs. The tenth member of ARD is Deutsche Welle , the German international broadcaster.
Members of the ARD
ARD currently consists of nine regional broadcasters and the international broadcasting corporation Deutsche Welle . The state broadcasting corporations of the ARD have a total of around 23,000 permanent employees, they organize eleven television programs, 55 radio programs and have 16 orchestras and eight choirs. The total budget of the nine establishments is around 6.3 billion euros per year, of which 366 million euros are for sports rights. The members of ARD are constantly present with around 100 radio and television correspondents in 30 locations around the world.
||Income 2009 (EUR million)||Total
income in 2020 (EUR million)
||Inhabitants in the
transmission area (million)
|Hessian radio||Mr||Frankfurt am Main||481||435||1,730||1948||Hesse||6.2|
|Central German radio||MDR||Leipzig||636||612||1,975||1991||Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt , Thuringia||8.5|
|Northern German Radio||NDR||Hamburg||1083||1,020||3,399||1956||Hamburg , Lower Saxony , Schleswig-Holstein (all since 1956), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (since 1992)||14.2|
|Radio Bremen||Bremen||97 (2008)||46||189||1945||Bremen||0.7|
|Broadcasting Berlin-Brandenburg||rbb||Berlin , Potsdam||395 (2008)||429||1,481||2003||Berlin , Brandenburg||6.0|
|Saarland radio||SR||Saarbrücken||116 (2008)||68||567||1957||Saarland||1.0|
|Südwestrundfunk||SWR||Stuttgart||1190 (2008)||1,065||3,244||1998||Baden-Wuerttemberg , Rhineland-Palatinate||15.0|
|West German Radio Cologne||WDR||Cologne||1350||1,224||3,905||1956||North Rhine-Westphalia||17.9|
|Broadcaster||Abbreviation||logo||Seat||Income 2016 (EUR million)||Federal grants 2016 (EUR million)||Positions||founding||Transmission area|
|Northwest German Broadcasting||NWDR||Hamburg||1945||1955||NDR, WDR, SFB||Hamburg , Lower Saxony , Schleswig-Holstein , North Rhine-Westphalia , West Berlin (until 1954)|
|Süddeutscher Rundfunk||SDR||Stuttgart||1949||1998||SWR||Württemberg-Baden (transmission area remained unchanged after Baden-Württemberg was founded )|
|Südwestfunk||SWF||Baden-Baden||1946||1998||SWR||Baden , Württemberg-Hohenzollern , Rhineland-Palatinate (transmission area remained unchanged after Baden-Württemberg was founded )|
|Sender Free Berlin||SFB||Berlin||1953||2003||RBB||Berlin (until 1990 only West Berlin )|
|Deutschlandfunk||DLF||Cologne||1962||1993||Germany radio||Germany and other European countries|
|Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg||ORB||Potsdam||1991||2003||RBB||Brandenburg|
ARD is a voluntary association of ten German broadcasters. The working group adopted statutes in 1950 , which are supplemented by the State Treaty on Broadcasting . These statutes regulate the work and organization of ARD. After that, the ARD has a general assembly as the main organ (not a television council like the broadcasting company ZDF). This takes place either in the form of working meetings of the directors of the members or three times a year as a so-called large general meeting, which is attended by the directors of the state broadcasters as well as the directors. This ARD general meeting is hosted alternately by the participating broadcasters.
The roughly ten meetings per year of the radio and board chairmen without the artistic directors, however, are referred to as the committee chairman conference (GVK).
The general assembly entrusts one of its broadcasters with the management of ARD for one year. The director of this executive broadcaster is chairman of the ARD during this period. Re-election for a further year is possible and is now common.
Chair of the ARD
|Term of office
|5th August 1950||February 2, 1951||Rudolf von Scholtz||BR|
|3rd February 1951||2nd August 1951||Eberhard Beckmann||MR|
|August 3, 1951||3rd February 1952||Adolf Grimme||NWDR|
|4th February 1952||September 30, 1952||Walter Geerdes||RB|
|October 1, 1952||March 31, 1953||Fritz Eberhard||SDR|
|April 1, 1953||September 30, 1953||Friedrich Bischoff||SWF|
|October 1, 1953||September 30, 1954||Rudolf von Scholtz||BR|
|October 1, 1954||December 31, 1955||Eberhard Beckmann||MR|
|January 1, 1956||December 31, 1956||Fritz Eberhard||SDR|
|January 1, 1957||December 31, 1957||Walter Hilpert||NDR|
|January 1, 1958||December 31, 1958||Franz Stadelmayer||BR|
|January 1, 1959||December 31, 1960||Friedrich Bischoff||SWF|
|January 1, 1961||December 31, 1962||Hans Bausch||SDR|
|January 1, 1963||December 31, 1964||Klaus von Bismarck||WDR|
|January 1, 1965||December 31, 1966||Werner Hess||MR|
|January 1, 1967||December 31, 1969||Christian Wallenreiter||BR|
|January 1, 1970||December 31, 1971||Gerhard Schröder||NDR|
|January 1, 1972||December 31, 1973||Helmut Hammerschmidt||SWF|
|1st January 1974||December 31, 1975||Hans Bausch||SDR|
|January 1, 1976||December 31, 1977||Werner Hess||MR|
|January 1, 1978||December 31, 1979||Friedrich-Wilhelm von Sell||WDR|
|January 1, 1980||December 31, 1983||Reinhold Vöth||BR|
|January 1, 1984||December 31, 1985||Friedrich Wilhelm Rauker||NDR|
|January 1, 1986||December 31, 1987||Willibald help||SWF|
|January 1, 1988||December 31, 1988||Hans Bausch||SDR|
|January 1, 1989||December 31, 1990||Hartwig Kelm||MR|
|January 1, 1991||December 31, 1992||Friedrich Nowottny||WDR|
|January 1, 1993||December 31, 1994||Jobst plog||NDR|
|January 1, 1995||December 31, 1996||Albert Scharf||BR|
|January 1, 1997||December 31, 1998||Udo Reiter||MDR|
|January 1, 1999||December 31, 2000||Peter Voss||SWR|
|January 1, 2001||December 31, 2002||Fritz Pleitgen||WDR|
|January 1, 2003||December 31, 2004||Jobst plog||NDR|
|January 1, 2005||December 31, 2006||Thomas Gruber||BR|
|January 1, 2007||December 31, 2008||Fritz Raff||SR|
|January 1, 2009||December 31, 2010||Peter Boudgoust||SWR|
|January 1, 2011||December 31, 2012||Monika Piel||WDR|
|January 1, 2013||December 31, 2015||Lutz marble||NDR|
|January 1, 2016||December 31, 2017||Karola will||MDR|
|January 1, 2018||December 31, 2019||Ulrich Wilhelm||BR|
|January 1, 2020||December 31, 2021||Tom Buhrow||WDR|
|January 1, 2022||probably December 31, 2023||Patricia Schlesinger||rbb|
The General Secretary reports to the respective ARD chairman, who changes every two years, and is jointly responsible for
- the strategic positioning of ARD,
- the representation of interests externally and
- public relations.
The Secretary General's place of employment is Berlin , while Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) is responsible for administration. The term of office is five years.
The general secretary is also the deputy chairman of the ARD strategy group. He has the right of access and participation in all commissions and working groups, including in the subsidiaries, in the television program conference and in the ARD-politically relevant committees. From July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2011 , the general secretary was Verena Wiedemann , who was previously employed by Westdeutscher Rundfunk and was in charge of the ARD liaison office in Brussels. In 2014, the lawyer Susanne Pfab was to become the new ARD general secretary. Until then, the post remains vacant and Michael Kühn took over the tasks as authorized representative of the ARD chairmanship .
The tasks of the program director of the ARD are laid down in the ARD State Treaty ( ARD-StV). He is elected for at least two years with a two-thirds majority of the state broadcasting corporations combined in the ARD ( ARD-StV). The task of the program director is to work with the directors of the state broadcasting corporations to work out the ARD's range of programs and to coordinate the delivery of programs to the individual state broadcasting corporations.
- until 1973: After State Secretary Mohr as coordinator, Lothar Hartmann followed as first program director
- 1973–1978: Hans Abich
- 1978–1992: Dietrich Schwarzkopf
- 1992-2008: Günter Struve
- 2008–2021: Volker Herres
- since May 1, 2021: Christine Strobl
Program Advisory Board
The ARD program management is located in the Bayerischer Rundfunk high-rise in Munich .
- ARD-Werbung Sales & Services GmbH (AS&S), emerged from the working groups for television advertising and radio advertising, which merged in 1974 to form the working group for radio advertising (ARW).
- Degeto film
ARD's joint facilities in terms of content are, for example, ARD-aktuell at NDR in Hamburg, the ARD capital studio in Berlin and the ARD Play-Out Center at RBB in Potsdam , which broadcasts all of ARD Digital's television programs and radio channels . In addition, the ARD has its own worldwide network of correspondents ( ARD foreign studios ).
Since October 31, 1954, the ARD has been broadcasting the television program, later known as the first German television and today officially called Das Erste , as a joint production of the individual regional broadcasters. The organizational center of the program is located in the program directorate in Munich .
The regional broadcasting corporations of ARD jointly operate the television channels 3sat together with ZDF, SRF and ORF . KiKA and Phoenix are both operated in cooperation between ARD and ZDF and Arte in cooperation with ZDF and Arte France. The programs Tagesschau24 , One and ARD-alpha are broadcast via the ARD digital bouquet . In addition, ARD and ZDF operate the funk media offering on various digital distribution channels such as YouTube .
The German television program for foreign countries is broadcast by DW-TV on Deutsche Welle. Until the end of 2005, ARD also operated the pay channel German TV for North America together with ZDF and Deutsche Welle .
In the radio sector there are five joint ARD-night programs : the ARD Hitnacht , the ARD-night concert , the ARD Popnacht , the ARD Info Eight and the young night ARD . In addition, some state broadcasting corporations cooperate for night coverage in radio broadcasting in a different way. So is between 0 and 5 pm at Radio Bremen 1 the live program of SWR1 broadcast, BR hit and MDR Schlagerwelt the Schlagernacht and until 26 June 2019 also sent seven youth radio 23:00 to 1:00, the call-in show LateLine .
The international radio station Deutsche Welle is a member of ARD .
The regional broadcasting corporations, which are part of the ARD, and the ZDF cooperate with the public corporation Deutschlandradio (DLR) with the three national radio programs Deutschlandfunk , Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Deutschlandfunk Nova .
On the Internet , ARD operates its own online offer under ARD.de, with a focus on news, sport, stock market, advice, knowledge and culture. While the contents of the editorial offices of tagesschau.de in Hamburg, sportschau.de in Cologne and the ARD stock exchange editorial office in Frankfurt am Main are used for the "News", "Sport" and "Stock Exchange" sections, the contents for the " Advice ”,“ Knowledge ”and“ Culture ” compiled by the ARD.de editorial team in Mainz .
In its audio and video portal ARD Mediathek , ARD offers limited access to the content of the ARD state broadcasters and community facilities. The programs and contributions of the first and third television programs and radio waves are thematically bundled here. In addition, ARD operates its own channel on YouTube .
The "German Sound Archive", now the German Broadcasting Archive (DRA), was set up in 1952 as a joint facility of the ARD . The archive has two locations in Frankfurt am Main and Potsdam- Babelsberg (formerly Berlin-Adlershof). From 1994 to 2002 it awarded the “DRA-Stipendium” on behalf of ARD, a sponsorship award for research into the radio and media history of the GDR.
The program of Das Erste and common program parts of the radio (for example with the ARD night express ) are technically brought together in the broadcasting center of the ARD in the ARD star in Frankfurt am Main (on the premises of the Hessischer Rundfunk). These signals are distributed to the individual broadcasters via HYBNET's own fiber optic network .
Since February 2005, Das Erste has been played out by the Central Broadcasting Center (ZSAW) in the ARD broadcasting center. Before that, the ARD station that delivered a broadcast for the community program (regardless of whether it was "live" or recorded) switched a line to the ARD star, from where the signal was passed on to all other ARD stations for terrestrial distribution. With the start-up of the ZSAW, all programs that are not “live” (films, soaps, documentaries, etc.) were played directly from the servers in Frankfurt for the first time. The ZSAW is a joint institution of the state broadcasting corporations and is intended to bring significant savings in broadcasting operations. The broadcast processing is nevertheless able to play out up to ten programs at the same time. This is necessary for regionalized advertising broadcast the evening before.
In connection with natural disasters, ARD regularly calls for donations in the various program formats of the affiliated broadcasters. In March 2011 it became known that she was contractually linked to the Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft .
Against the background of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima and the tsunami triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake in 2011 , the ARD refused, on the recommendation of its cooperation partner Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft, towards Aktion Deutschland Hilft , to spread calls for donations for the victims of these disasters. Appeals for donations by the Chancellor and the Federal President were also not supported with information in the news programs. The reason: Japan is a rich country and therefore does not need any donations. The Germany's Relief Coalition , under the patronage of Richard von Weizsacker and members such as the auxiliary associations Malteser , Johanniter , AWO and World Vision , complained about this decision in the German line.
Reception, media criticism and controversy
Allegations of unilateral reporting
A scientific study by the Otto Brenner Foundation (OBS) from 2016 accuses both ARD and ZDF of having reported one-sided and unbalanced reports on the Greek sovereign debt crisis as part of their programs . Journalists' personal opinions and objective facts could not be clearly separated from each other vis-à-vis the audience, general topics and the reform efforts of the Greek government were superficially reflected, the Greek government was also able to speak less than the German, the titles were often striking.
A study by the Otto Brenner Foundation of March 2010 on economic journalism in times of crisis examined, among other things, the working methods of the ARD from spring 1999 to autumn 2009. The study comes to the conclusion that the ARD news programs “Tagesschau” and “Tagesthemen” not only technically, but also before the substantive challenges of reporting on the crisis itself. The editors work “poorly in terms of perspectives”, the focus is on the officially most important actors: representatives of the German government first and foremost, bank representatives, a few academics and their points of view.
ARD's reporting on the Ukraine conflict was also controversial. In June 2014, the eight-member ARD program advisory board unanimously criticized the reporting from December 2013 to June 2014 as one-sided, undifferentiated and incomplete. Some of the ARD programs gave the “impression of bias” and “tended to target Russia and the Russian positions”. Sahra Wagenknecht (Die Linke) judged the program advisory council's report as "devastating". He confirms that the ARD reports "unbalanced and tendentious" and positions itself "unilaterally against Russia". The AfD vice-chairman Alexander Gauland also joined the criticism. Thomas Baumann , editor-in-chief of ARD, rejected the program advisory board's criticism. Ulrich Clauß from the newspaper Die Welt described the advisory board as "simple-minded", since Putin's propaganda columns launched and multiplied the negative viewer reviews and therefore there was no real motive for examining the broadcast quality.
In October 2015, “ ARD aktuell ” editor-in-chief Kai Gniffke admitted a distorted visual representation of the flow of refugees to Europe through the Tagesschau and the Tagesthemen: “When cameramen film refugees, they choose families with small children and big googly eyes”, although “80 Percent of refugees are young, well-built single men ”.
Accusation of "state radio" and party political influence
In the public debate, the ARD, like the ZDF, is often accused of designing its programs on behalf of politics and the government. BDZV President Matthias Döpfner compared the public broadcasters with North Korea in order to draw attention to the omnipresence and one-sidedness that he perceived. According to Christian Meier in DIE WELT, it is fatal that terms such as “state radio” or “silent cartel” are also used by politicians from established parties, journalists from bourgeois daily newspapers and former moderators when criticizing ARD. The contributors “must become sovereign over the broadcasters they finance. It also needs more transparency. More participation. ” Jan Fleischhauer defended the use of the term state radio as appropriate and commented:“ Many systems of political coercion did not perish because of the coercion they exerted on people, but rather because of the double talk that required citizens to do what they felt compelled to greet as a perk. ” Rainer Hank and Georg Meck also defended the use of the term state radio . The term utters “a simple, unideological truth”. "Just as the French state operates nuclear power plants, the German state operates television companies." The founding act of the public broadcasters was "a sovereign act of the state", and the ZDF was founded with a "state treaty".
Cordt Schnibben criticized in 1989 that ARD was at the mercy of “dilettantes and dark men”. A survey of the broadcasting councils of the ARD showed that they were less well informed about the programs to be controlled than the television viewers and that 76 percent of the councils see the reason for their unsatisfactory work in “other professional obligations” and 39 percent in “lack of expertise "And 16 percent in" lack of interest ". In the supervisory bodies of the ARD, this dilettantism was bred "in order to turn the public broadcasters into Reich broadcasters for the parties". The originally liberal broadcasting laws have been amended until the parties have access to law. In the whole body there is at most one without a party membership, and one can predict the voting behavior of everyone. The Nazis would have abused the radio, then the Allies would have decreed democratic structures, "and then everything degenerated again," complained the former ARD chairman Hartwig Kelm . In an interview he explained how he was put under pressure in terms of personnel and budgetary policy. Not everyone could withstand this pressure, because even head department heads are simply concerned with existence. He called for the party representatives to be removed from the supervisory bodies and for ARD to be fundamentally reorganized. Even after the Federal Constitutional Court ruling of 2014, Judge Andreas Paulus saw no decisive improvement: In fact, party-political standards still dominated, the promise of “radio and television remote from the state” remained unfulfilled even after the 14th broadcast decision by the Federal Constitutional Court. Paul expressed fundamental criticism of the presence of state representatives in the supervisory bodies.
Use of interpretation grids to control opinions (framing)
In February 2019 it was announced that the German by Elisabeth Wehling a so-called left Create a communication guideline framing - Manual entitled Our free radio ARD joint, . This was published under the trademark Berkeley International Framing Institute . By using the methods proposed therein, ARD officials should emphasize the social relevance of ARD or its member organizations not through facts or details, but primarily through conviction and moral principles. For example, there is no longer any question of collecting a broadcasting fee, but rather of “managing the citizens' broadcasting capital”. The focus on moral rather than fact-based communication is based on the determination of part of the population as an opponent against whose "orchestrated attacks" one wants to defend oneself.
The 2017 report itself was made available on the Netzpolitik.org website shortly after it became known . ARD put the fee paid to the Framing Institute at a total of 120,000 euros. Wehling was commissioned with nine workshops for employees. The ARD general secretariat supports the management of the broadcasting group in the strategic positioning of ARD, external representation of interests and public relations.
A survey of colleagues carried out by ARD volunteers in 2020 and published in journalist magazine came to the conclusion that 60% of young journalists came from cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The proportion of women was also 60%, and the proportion of responses that indicated a migration background was 30%. More than 95% of the people surveyed had a university degree, which is five times the overall population average. When asked about their political preference, 57.1 percent said they voted for the Greens, 23.4 percent for the Left Party, and 11.7 percent voted for the SPD; 3% voted for the CDU, the FDP received 1.3 percent. The results of the polls on political affinity generated critical responses; The journalist Michael Hanfeld remarked in the FAZ that this is where the claim to be diverse and at the same time to represent society as a whole comes true, least of all. Biographical diversity and a high proportion of women are opposed by a strong urban-rural divide, a high proportion of academics and political uniformity. The latter in particular invites you to confirm prejudices about a “left-green” public broadcasting company. Rainer Haubrich also commented in DIE WELT that every journalist could of course choose who he wanted. However, if the preferences of the editors differ to such an extent from those of the fee payers, balanced reporting and thus the fulfillment of the broadcasting order is practically impossible: “92 percent for green-red-red! If ARD continues like this, there will soon be a diversity in their editorial offices like at the Chinese People's Congress. ”A comment by Übermedien magazine questioned the informative value of the survey, as only 47% of the volunteers took part in the study and three age groups were not contacted at all be.
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