German press agency

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dpa German Press Agency GmbH

legal form Company with limited liability
founding August 18, 1949
Seat Hamburg , GermanyGermanyGermany 
  • Matthias Mahn and Andreas Schmidt, managing directors
  • David Brandstätter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Number of employees 677 (2017)
sales EUR 93.6 million (2017)
Branch News agency

Older dpa logo
Sculpture “Mr. Quick ”by Ottmar Hörl in front of the dpa building in Frankfurt Am Baseler Platz , corner of Gutleutstrasse. Erected in October 1999 for the 50th anniversary of the dpa.

The dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH is the largest news agency in the Federal Republic of Germany with its headquarters in Hamburg and the central editorial office in Berlin . It is represented in around 100 countries around the world and has 13 national services with the corresponding offices in Germany. The dpa has 1000 employees, the turnover in 2018 was 95.6 million euros (2017: 93.6 million euros; 2016: 93.9 million euros; 2015: 90.7 million euros; 2014: 88.6 million euros Million euros; 2013: 87.2 million euros; 2012: 82.1 million euros; 2011: 81.8 million euros).

The "dpa basic service" as the most important product of the dpa is the most important German-language news service, which thus has an important function in the agenda setting for German-language media. For decades, practically all German broadcasting corporations and daily newspapers with a full editorial team have been connected to it, which means that they can report comprehensively on events around the world even without their own network of correspondents. Only a few regional newspapers temporarily canceled the dpa services, such as one of the largest German regional newspapers , the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung , from the beginning of 2009 to December 2012.

Corporate purpose

According to the statutes, the corporate purpose of dpa is to collect, process and disseminate news , archive and image material of all kinds. The agency undertakes to carry out this task “impartially and independently of the influences and influences of parties, ideological groups, economic and financial groups and governments “To meet.

With its own correspondents, the dpa broadcasts news in text , sound , graphics and images worldwide . Since 1979, customers have been able to receive messages in a standardized message format on their computers.

Since 1988 the agency has received its worldwide news exclusively from its own correspondents.


The 180 shareholders of dpa are exclusively media companies such as publishers and broadcasters. This means that the agency's shareholders and customers are largely identical.

The respective shareholders can acquire a maximum of 1.5 percent of the share capital, so that the influence of individual majority shareholders is largely excluded. The proportion of electronic media may not exceed a total of 25 percent. The broadcasting companies NDR, WDR and ZDF each hold shares in dpa amounting to 641,550 euros. This corresponds to a total of 3.8 percent of the total capital. Together, the broadcasters hold a total of 11.64 percent of the total capital.

The fees of each newspaper for the dpa service are calculated according to the circulation, so newspapers with a very high circulation are economically more important for the agency than the local press, for example.


Peter Kropsch has been the chairman of the management board since January 20, 2017 , and the dpa managing directors are Matthias Mahn and Andreas Schmidt. Kropsch was previously at the Austria Press Agency and took over the chairmanship from Michael Segbers, who retired in January 2017.

Sven Gösmann has been the editor-in-chief since January 1, 2014 . From January 1, 2010 to August 31, 2013, his predecessor was Wolfgang Büchner , who moved from dpa as editor-in-chief to the news magazine Der Spiegel . Before Büchner, Wilm Herlyn headed the dpa editorial team from 1991 to the end of 2009.

Editor-in-chief from 1949 to the present day


The dpa emerged in 1949 from the German news agency (Dena), the German press service and the southern German news agency (Süda). It was founded as a cooperative company on August 18, 1949 in Goslar . It has been a limited liability company since 1951 . The first editor-in-chief and managing director was Fritz Sänger , who was managing director until 1955 and editor-in-chief until 1959. The first report went to the editorial offices on September 1, 1949.

In 1986 dpa founded Global Media Services GmbH (gms). In 1988 the company bought its competitor "Globus Kartendienst GmbH".

Since the summer of 2010, the dpa editorial office has been working on Markgrafenstrasse in the historic newspaper district of Berlin, where the previous central editorial offices from Hamburg (word, internet, graphics), Frankfurt am Main (picture) and Berlin (word, picture, audio & video) are grouped together were. In Hamburg, where an old villa at Mittelweg in Rotherbaum was the center of the editorial offices from September 1949 to July 2010 , the company headquarters, the location of the management, sales, the commercial department, the subsidiaries dpa-mediatechnology GmbH and news aktuell as well as the regional editorial offices.


German speaking services

The “dpa basic service” as the most important product includes around 750 messages a day with an average of 300 words from all over the world in the areas of politics, business, sport, panorama (miscellaneous) with culture and media, knowledge and the Internet. In addition, there are twelve regional services in Germany (dpa-Landesdienst), which also cover all traditional news departments. On average, more than 1200 photos are offered to customers every day via radio .

The dpa customers are offered these services for a flat monthly fee (staggered according to the size of the medium); there are no additional costs for using the content.

Foreign language services

In addition to German, dpa world news services are also available in English , Spanish and Arabic . The English service is produced in Berlin , Bangkok and Washington, DC , the Spanish in Buenos Aires and Madrid , and the Arabic service has its main editorial office in Cairo .

In 2008 it became known that the dpa would also start a bilingual news service in Turkish and German in spring 2009 , which aims to give greater consideration to the particular "information interests of citizens of Turkish origin in Germany" in the German media. The service was stopped after only nine months.

Spin-offs and cooperations

The German Press Agency works with several other agencies in the procurement and distribution of news, including foreign companies such as the Austria Presse Agentur , with which it maintains the dpa-AFX Wirtschaftsnachrichten agency and the technology subsidiary dpa digital services GmbH, as well as the Swiss dispatch agency . Since the beginning of 2013, dpa has been working intensively with the Associated Press news agency from the USA and marketing AP services in German-speaking countries.

In cooperation with the Lower Saxony initiative program n-21, dpa offers free news for online editors of school newspapers . There is also a content support program for printed school newspapers.

Since 2002, Reiner Merkel , head of the dpa image department, has set up the 100 percent subsidiary Picture Alliance , an online platform of the six major picture agencies akg-images, Huber picture agency, dpa picture services, kpa photo archive, Okapia and Picture Press. Around 200 partner agencies are now marketing their image, video and illustration material via the dpa-Picture-Alliance.

The 100 percent dpa subsidiaries also include dpa infografik GmbH, Fotoagentur Zentralbild GmbH, dpa mediatechnology GmbH, Global Media Services GmbH, Rufa Rundfunk-Agenturdienste, Agencia de Noticias dpa España SL, dpa English Services GmbH as well as news aktuell GmbH and dpa -infocom GmbH. In 2015 the dpa was also involved in the founding of the next media accelerator and an associated fund.


Market position and manipulation

The German Press Agency is by far the largest news agency in Germany and thus has an immense influence on public opinion. It mainly competes with the German branches of the foreign news agencies Agence France-Presse and Thomson Reuters . The only domestic competition is represented by special agencies such as the Evangelical Press Service , the Catholic News Agency and the Sports Information Service .

The dpa is regularly accused by critics of abusing its position of power through its ability to agenda setting to manipulate the majority of the population. Due to this, a restriction of the agency's power is occasionally requested.

Correctness of reports

After the departure of its founder Fritz Singer, the German Press Agency came under public criticism several times for spreading unchecked false reports. The best-known examples were the news of Khrushchev's death on April 13, 1964 and a made-up quote from Kosygin on the reunification of Germany in December 1966. The agency was also accused of being too close to the government and correspondingly colored reporting (1969, 1971) The dpa had to apologize in public Among other things, for false reports about the protests against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm (2007) and about the then Minister of Economic Affairs zu Guttenberg (2009). The role of the dpa in the Bluewater affair in 2009 led internally to new regulations on the sources of the news that were distributed.

Brenner study on quality defects

The large-scale study by the Otto Brenner Foundation by Hans-Jürgen Arlt and Wolfgang Storz from March 2010 on the subject of “Economic Journalism in Times of Crisis - The Mass Media Dealing with Financial Market Policy” examined, among other things, the working methods of the dpa from spring 1999 to autumn 2009. The study comes to the conclusion that the daily updated German business journalism as an observer, reporter and commentator of the financial market and the financial market policy worked badly until the outbreak of the global financial market crisis. “Bungling in construction is what they call it in the trade.” DPA's information service in terms of financial market policy is “highly deficient”. The orientation that DPA gives in this context is disorientation. "The financial market policy DPA journalism is trivial journalism." The editor-in-chief of the dpa rejected the criticism in all individual points. The selection of the tested articles is selective and the result is therefore not representative.

Criticism of the structure

As early as 1969, the DPA journalist Stefan Zickler / Manfred Steffens included the dpa in ZEIT as part of his criticism of the structure of the German press. The "total privatization of the agency" made state manipulation impossible, as in the Nazi era, but "excluded not only the state and those striving for majorization, but at the same time the entire public." dpa is only as free and independent as its roughly two hundred shareholders wanted: "These roughly two hundred shareholders themselves determine what is to be understood by the" independence "of the agency they own." Due to the crucial role of the editor-in-chief, the publishers could " by occupying a single seat determine how the German press should be informed. "This is dangerous, because" the fewer journalists need to be replaced, the easier it is to achieve synchronization. "

See also

Web links

Commons : Deutsche Presse-Agentur  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: dpa  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Annual Report 2017 ( Memento of the original dated January 2, 2019 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the company's website. Retrieved November 1, 2018. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Mr. Quick entry in the database art in public space Frankfurt , ed. from the Frankfurt am Main cultural office. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  3. Alexander Becker: How much money is France investing in its agency? After the termination of the WAZ: DPA and AFP argue. MEEDIA, January 19, 2009, accessed March 24, 2016 .
  4. WAZ media group changes to dpa. Retrieved on May 12, 2020 (German).
  5. DWDL de GmbH: WAZ group returns from dapd to dpa. Retrieved May 12, 2020 .
  6. Jürgen Wilke: From the agency to the editorial office: how news is made, evaluated and used . Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, 2000, ISBN 978-3-412-09699-1 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  7. dpa appoints Sven Gösmann as the new editor-in-chief. In: dpa press release, August 29, 2013. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  8. dpa supervisory board appoints Wolfgang Büchner as the new editor-in-chief. In: dpa press release, March 10, 2009. Retrieved on August 23, 2011.
  9. See also Fritz Singer : Hidden threads. Memories and remarks from a journalist. Dietz, Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-87831-267-9 , pp. 133ff.
  10. Peter Mösgen: history and organization of the German Press Agency (dpa). Seminar paper at the Catholic University of Eichstätt , Eichstätt 1990, p. 11. ( PDF; p. 12. Accessed on 23 August 2011.)
  11. New dpa central editorial office in Berlin opens in the historic newspaper district. In: dpa press release, November 10, 2009. Retrieved on August 23, 2011.
  12. dpa starts Turkish service. In: Press release by the dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH , December 10, 2008. Accessed on August 23, 2011.
  13. FlorianTreiß: heute2: dpa stops Turkish service after only nine months. ( Memento from November 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In:, November 13, 2009. Retrieved on August 23, 2011.
  14. dpa starts cooperation with AP in text and images. In: Press release of the dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH , January 8, 2013. Accessed July 30, 2013.
  15. dpa group. Retrieved September 2, 2018 .
  16. Press releases. Retrieved September 2, 2018 .
  17. Michalis Pantelouris : Does dpa actually reject reality, or does it just consider it unnecessary? In: Carta , July 30, 2012.
  18. Rezo : Break the power of corporations, but not only on Facebook and Google! , published on Zeit Online on March 10, 2020, accessed on March 16, 2020
  19. ^ Soviet Union / Khrushchev: Hephocapalytirosises . In: Der Spiegel . No. 17 , 1964, pp. 72 ( online April 22, 1964).
  20. ^ Otto Köhler : False report from Paris . In: Der Spiegel . No. 52 , 1966, pp. 92 ( online December 19, 1966).
  21. Who is responsible for the business with the message? In: The time . November 21, 2012, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed November 18, 2017]).
  22. Otto Köhler: We can cheer . In: Der Spiegel . No. 29 , 1971, p. 118 ( online July 12, 1971).
  23. Stefan Niggemeier : Chronology of a false report. In: Author's blog, June 5, 2007. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  24. ^ Research chaos: false claims about the new economics minister. In: Zapp magazine from NDR television, February 11, 2009.
  25. ^ Steffen Grimberg: Crisis of the news agencies. Before the final editorial deadline. In: taz , June 22, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  26. Archived copy ( Memento from August 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  27. Research at will: dpa explains reporting on the financial crisis . In: . ( [accessed March 30, 2019]).
  28. ^ A b Lutz M. Hagen: Information quality of news: measuring methods and their application to the services of news agencies . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-322-97054-1 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  29. a b c d e Who is responsible for the message business? In: The time . November 21, 2012, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed November 18, 2017]).

Coordinates: 53 ° 34 ′ 11.6 "  N , 9 ° 59 ′ 42"  E