Diversity of opinion

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Diversity of opinion (pluralism of opinion) describes a state in which there is no predominant power of opinion. This means that there is a multitude of different and mutually independent sources of information , none of which has a dominant position.

Therefore securing the diversity of opinion is considered as an integral requirement for the free formation of opinion as the German Basic Law by the freedom of expression in art. 5 para. 1, sentence 1, 1st Hs Basic Law is guaranteed. The goal of equal diversity of opinion also follows from freedom of broadcasting and freedom of the press , which impose on the state to enable a diverse market of opinion through its legislation.

A prerequisite for diversity of opinion is intellectual and journalistic competition between opinions , i.e. journalistic competition. Various measures are conceivable to ensure diversity of opinion. In the area of ​​public service broadcasting, this is done through the internal pluralistic composition of the broadcasting councils from representatives of all social groups, so that the diversity of opinion in public service broadcasting arises from within. In the area of ​​the press, on the other hand, the large number of existing press organs with different orientations is a guarantee of a pluralistic market of opinion (external pluralistic model). Securing diversity here means keeping this so-called “opinion market” functional. In the area of antitrust law , special threshold regulations for investments therefore apply to media companies. This is intended to counteract the risk of excessive interdependence and the associated synchronization of different media.

In the area of ​​private broadcasting, the KEK (Commission for Determining Concentration in the Media Area) checks compliance with the provisions of the State Broadcasting Treaty to ensure diversity of opinion. Here the external pluralistic model (competition between media companies) is combined with the internal pluralistic model (broadcasts by independent third parties, so-called "window programs").

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