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Television broadcast
Original title Frontal21
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) since 2001
length 45 minutes
weekly (Tuesday 9:00 p.m.)
genre Politmagazin
Moderation Ilka Brecht (since 2014)
First broadcast April 3, 2001 on ZDF

Frontal21 is a political TV magazine in ZDF that after the end of the magazines frontal and mark D was started. In some cases, employees from these two previous magazines were transferred to the new Frontal21 editorial team. The first broadcast on April 3, 2001, and the 500th on March 31, 2015. By then, 3182 posts had been sent. The magazine was moderated by Theo Koll until January 20, 2009 and Hilke Petersen from February 24, 2009 to April 22, 2014 . Ilka Brecht has been moderating since May 6, 2014 . At the end of every program there is the political satirical section Great! . According to ZDF, an episode of the magazine costs around 110,000 euros.

Origin of name

The name of today's TV magazine was taken over from the former TV magazine Frontal , with the addition 21 for the time '21: 00 'and '21. Century '.


Frontal21 primarily reports on political , economic and social issues. In addition to social justice, the situation on the labor market, reforms in the health, pension and education systems as well as consumer information are dealt with. Clearly drawn and evident fronts between the parties represented in the contributions are still essential for the concept of the program. In a few cases, in which reports that Frontal21 sent and that were picked up by other mass media , there was indignation in parts of the population.

Frontal21 regularly reports on the reactions of those involved in the "Followed up" section. In the section “An answer is asked”, the authors write a fictional, critical-commentary letter to leading politicians, managers and other decision-makers in the country. In the section “The Number”, a current number of a certain development is examined in more detail. The satire great! is at the end of the program as a pointed political commentary.

For the programs broadcast since November 22, 2011, the studio and the opening credits have been redesigned.


Great! is a satirical series. In two-minute contributions, she works on the political or social topic of the week with satirical means . Features of Toll! are a minimalist narrative style and anarchist imagery. This includes the use of manipulated news images and exaggeratedly simple symbol images.

Authors of Toll! are Werner Martin Doyé and Andreas Wiemers . Doyé and Wiemers also produce satirical films for other ZDF programs. During the 2006 World Cup, for example, they supplied the ZDF sports program with the “World Cup section that has no name where”. At the end of each year, Doyé and Wiemers produce their own 30-minute program Der satirische Jahresrückblick on ZDF . The issue on December 18, 2007 at 11:00 p.m. was watched by almost 2 million viewers.

Up until mid-February 2008 there was a daily satire on the Internet called Daily Toll! in writing, on the Frontal21 homepage , which was discontinued in its previous form after the 2499th edition and was made available by Toll! A blog was replaced.

editorial staff

The editorial team consists of:

  • Ilka Brecht , moderator, editor-in-chief
  • Christian Rohde , deputy editor-in-chief
  • Michael Hölting, head of duty
  • Steffen Judzikowski, head of duty
  • Joachim Bartz, editor
  • Armin Coerper, editor
  • Werner Martin Doyé, editor, satirical author
  • Sue Dröse, editor
  • Christian Esser , editor
  • Anna Feist, editor
  • Beate Frenkel, editor
  • Jörg Göbel, editor
  • Andreas Halbach , editor
  • Michael Haselrieder, editor
  • Manka Heise, editor
  • Anne Herzlieb, editor
  • Hans Koberstein, editor
  • Reinhard Laska, editor
  • Birte Meier , editor
  • Martina Morawietz, editor
  • Tonja Pölitz, editor
  • Astrid Randerath , editor
  • Karin Schilling, editor
  • Andreas Seibert, editor
  • Joe Sperling, editor
  • Ulrich Stoll, editor
  • Dana Sümening, editor
  • Andreas Wiemers , editor, satirical author
  • Iris Wohsmann, editor
  • Felix Zimmermann, editor
  • Annett Honig, editorial assistant
  • Alexandra Hoene, editorial secretary

Former editors:



  • In 2005, Theo Koll received - “representing the overall editorial performance” - the Bavarian television award “Blauer Panther” endowed with 7,000 euros for his moderation of Frontal21.
  • In 2006 Frontal21 was awarded the Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Prize . In the opinion of the jury, Frontal21 finds “new forms of critical communication of current political issues at a high level” from week to week . The editorial team is also able to keep an eye on a large number of problem cases over a longer period of time and make them transparent for the viewer.
  • In 2007 Frontal21 was awarded the Golden Camera .
  • In 2007 and 2008 the authors of the satirical column Toll! , Andreas Wiemers and Werner Doyé, nominated for the Adolf Grimme Prize in the “Special” category.
  • In 2008 Steffen Judzikowski and Hans Koberstein were awarded the BAUM environmental award.
  • In 2008 Steffen Judzikowski and Hans Koberstein were awarded the Otto Brenner Prize for the Frontal21 documentary "The Cartel - Germany under the Control of Energy Companies".
  • In 2009 Werner Doyé and Andreas Wiemers were nominated for the Adolf Grimme Prize with their “satirical review of the year 2008” .
  • In 2009 the Frontal21 authors Astrid Randerath and Christian Esser were awarded the Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Förderpreis for their television documentary “ Das Pharmakartell ”. The jury sees this as "an outstanding example of investigative journalism".
  • In 2009 the Frontal21 authors Reinhard Laska and Christian Rohde were awarded the German Business Film Prize (3rd place) for their documentary "The Billionaire Game - Who gambled our money?"
  • In 2010 Werner Doyé and Andreas Wiemers were nominated for the Adolf Grimme Prize for their mockumentary The Black Channel Returns and for their “Toll!” Category .
  • In 2011 Steffen Judzikowski and Christian Rohde were awarded the Renewable Energy Agency prize for the Frontal21 documentary “The Great Bluff - The False Promises of Nuclear Policy”.
  • In 2015 Birte Meier and Christian Esser were awarded the German Business Film Prize in the category "Films about the economy (feature films)" for the Frontal21 documentary "The Great Samwer Show - The Billionaire Businesses of the Zalando Boys" .

Criticism and controversy

Computer games

Frontal21 was repeatedly criticized for individual reports, including its reports on computer games that may glorify violence , also known as "killer games", "violent games" or "brutal games". Specifically, the critics are mostly concerned with the article "Video slaughter in the children's room" from November 9, 2004 and the article "Violence without borders" from April 26, 2005. According to Frontal21, thousands of e-mails were sent to Frontal21 after the article on November 9, 2004 a. In fact, there were thousands of postings in the forum of the ZDF website at that time . In both contributions, Frontal is accused of showing a lack of neutrality, of specifically selecting people who are critical of video games, and of portraying people who have little media skills as well as using a demagogic and exaggerated linguistic tone in the case of the proponents of so-called "violent games" Link between violence and video games in addition to exaggerating. In relation to the public, however, Frontal21's criticism is attributed to the fact that the digital community took offense at addressing the risk of addiction, which is actually not shown in the article:

  • “2004 - the digital community in turmoil: Frontal21 reports on killer games. "It's addicting," we said - and received a lot of contradiction and parodies. "

In terms of content, the Frontal21 editorial team commented on the criticism as follows on its website:

  • “The claim that the film advocates the so-called stimulation theory, according to which violent games also make aggressive, was not the subject of the film contribution. Especially not claims like 'killer games lead to mass murder' ”. The long-term studies necessary to verify this theory either do not exist or are methodologically controversial.
  • “In a modern society in particular, the question must be asked how a humanistic consensus of values ​​and the Basic Law can also be protected in virtual worlds. The articles of the constitution are also valid in the virtual world. "
  • “In many letters to the editors, our sentence was repeatedly criticized that Doom 3 is 'not indexed' and 'is not considered to be harmful to minors'. This statement reflects exactly the evaluation in the categories of the new Youth Protection Act. "

Contrary to the opinion of the Frontal21 editorial team on the previous programs, the newer article also showed imported versions of games that were not approved in Germany, as well as games that were modified by so-called blood patches .

As a further consequence of the reporting on so-called killer games , players pointed to the multiple role of CDU politician Maria Böhmer as deputy chairwoman of the ZDF television council , as a candidate for political offices in a future federal government and as the driving force behind the inclusion of a "ban on killer games" in the coalition agreement of the federal government of 2005, which was interpreted by the media as a possible background to the computer game reports and was denied by Maria Böhmer.

Radio PR

In the summer of 2007 Frontal21 reported in a contribution by Andreas Halbach on the influence of PR on the radio. ZDF was later accused of being one of the largest clients of radio PR agencies. The Frontal21 editorial team had also commissioned radio PR agencies several times. An interview that ZDF author Halbach conducted with the owner of the radio PR agency audioetage was later published as a manuscript several times on the internet and was taken as evidence of the author's bias.

Christian mission

The magazine also received criticism for a report broadcast in the summer of 2009 that puts evangelical Christians close to Islamic fundamentalists . The Council of the Evangelical Church called the contribution "a particularly striking example of media reporting that lacks the necessary distinctions and makes use of questionable journalistic means [...] Such a type of journalism does not meet the requirements of solid research."

ZDF director Markus Schächter defended the contribution. It was "only about questionable advertising for missions and the dangers" that missionaries bring themselves and others into. There can be no question of equating “convinced Christians with Islamic terrorists or suicide bombers”. Two months later, the ARD magazine Panorama took up the dispute between Frontal 21 and the EKD.

A preliminary investigation into sedition has been set. The public prosecutor's office could not determine any criminal relevance of the contribution.

ZDF television council

In February 2011, members of the Union parties criticized the ZDF television council . A warning was also issued against the editors of the Politmagazin, which they accused of using “tendentious imagery” and “too one-sided reporting”, especially in a critical article on the federal government's nuclear policy . According to Spiegel Online , ZDF journalists criticized this as a “targeted attempt at intimidation” and the fact that the Union would apparently “shoot” itself at the magazine after editor-in-chief Nikolaus Brender was voted out. According to the Spiegel , Frontal21 editors have already been cited several times before the chief editorial committee in the previous months. Editor-in-chief Peter Frey has always rejected criticism of the direction of the magazine.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hilke Petersen will host “Frontal 21” in the future ( memento of the original from January 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Ilka Brecht moderates the ZDF political magazine "Frontal 21"
  3. News programs and magazines - profiles and costs. (No longer available online.) ZDF , August 28, 2014, archived from the original on December 3, 2016 ; accessed on August 30, 2014 . 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. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Origin of the name "Frontal 21" (Frontal21 editorial team)
  5. See the new look of the online presence (accessed on November 22, 2011)
  6. see [1]
  7. Focus: Ilka Brecht new moderator
  9. Information about the award winners
  11. cf. for example Bastian Birke: Why values ​​are also defended with the “killer games”. , Telepolis , November 18, 2007, online at
  12. "One-sided reporting" according to esb on
  13. "In the report a wrong tongue was deliberately used." Jürgen Hilse ( USK )
  14. Video anniversary! Ten years of Frontal21 (December 6, 2011)  in the ZDFmediathek , accessed on January 26, 2014. (offline)
  15. Statement on
  16. US version of GTA: San Andreas according to
  17. Mentioned on
  18. Receipt of radio PR frontal21
  19. Interview Frontal 21 with audioetage owner Julian Regenthal-Patzak
  20. ^ Declaration by the EKD Council on the defamation of Evangelical Christians from September 5, 2009
  21. idea: [2]  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  22. ARD Panorama: [3]
  23. Protestant press service: [4]  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  24. ^ Union attacked in the ZDF television council "Frontal 21" , Spiegel Online from February 12, 2011