Pearl divers

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The culture magazine
Pearl divers logo.svg
description Culture and literature magazine
languages German
owner Perlentaucher Medien GmbH
Originator Thierry Chervel
Published 2000 Das Kulturmagazin (also: Der Perlentaucher ) is a German online magazine for cultural topics , especially literature . According to IVW , the website had over 713,000 visitors in March 2017. Of the 1.5 million  page views this month, 75 percent came from within Germany. This makes the Perlentaucher "the leading and independent culture and literature magazine in the German-speaking network" according to its own statements.


Foundation and business model

The idea for the pearl had in 1999 Anja Seeliger and Thierry Chervel which until then as a journalist for the taz and the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote. They wanted to counteract the low weight that culture had on the Internet until then. Together with Adam Cwientzek and Niclas Seeliger, they founded Perlentaucher Medien GmbH as the operating company of the new portal with their own start-up capital of 60,000 DM. The website has been online since March 15, 2000 .

The form was based on the press reviews, which Chervel had come to appreciate as a cultural correspondent for the SZ in Paris on French radio : the overview should be more like a "personal column of a journalist" who flips through the newspapers and is spontaneous and gives quite subjective recommendations, and thus sets itself apart from the "official announcements" that were customary up to that point, as they were known from Germany radio, for example .

The project, which Chervel had described as a “small family business” five years after it was founded, was originally financed exclusively through Internet advertising , which was integrated in the form of advertising banners or contained in the regularly published newsletter , which was freely distributed via e-mail . The offers are mainly used by book publishers. The weekday press review “Today in the feature pages” was also taken over by Spiegel Online until July 2016 as part of a cooperation. Income from publishing advertising declined over time. Since 2018 there has been a cooperation with the Steady service , through which readers can voluntarily pay a regular amount for the freely available offer. According to the pearl diver , a monthly net income of around 5,000 euros was made in 2019. In May 2020, 1793 members would have paid a total of 8,288 euros per month for the pearl diver in this way, which roughly corresponded to the donation goal. Since 2019, eichendorff21 has also been operating its own online shop , which mainly offers more sophisticated literature.

Grimme Online Award, 2003

Three years after its founding, in 2003, the website received the Grimme Online Award for Media Journalism. The jury described as a "unique 'journal of journals'".

"", 2005–2012

For the five-year existence of the portal in 2005, the English-language sister site was launched with the support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation , which is aimed at an international audience and provides an insight into the contemporary with its own feature section, translations of selected articles and thematic focuses Wanted to give cultural life and the social debate in Germany. After the funding of 1.4 million euros from the Federal Cultural Foundation expired in September 2007, Jakob Augstein and the Rudolf Augstein Foundation supported the portal for several years with 30,000 euros annually . On March 28, 2012, the editors announced the discontinuation of for economic reasons.

Debate on Islam in Europe, 2007

In January 2007 Pascal Bruckner published a polemic on with the title "Enlightenment fundamentalism or racism of the anti-racists?" Bruckner sharply opposed Ian Buruma's book “The Limits of Tolerance - The Murder of Theo van Gogh”, but even more so against Timothy Garton Ash's essay on the book, “Islam in Europe”, which was first published in the New York Review of Books was published.

From January to April 2007, Ian Buruma , Timothy Garton Ash , Necla Kelek , Ulrike Ackermann , Adam Krzemiński , Bassam Tibi and many others responded to this polemic . The debate received worldwide press coverage and was published as a book in November 2007.

Press review for “Eurotopics”, 2005–2008

From 2005 to April 2008, the pearl diver and the magazine Courrier international oversaw the press review of the Eurotopics website, a website of the Federal Agency for Civic Education . After the then freelancer for Eurotopics , Olaf Sundermeyer , had published an article against the work of the pearl diver in the FAZ in June 2007 , the President of the Federal Central Office, Thomas Krüger, had the project re-tendered in October 2007. This was followed by the Network for Eastern Europe Reporting e. V. (n-ost) zum Zug, a network of around 200 international journalists and media specializing in Eastern Europe, of which Sundermeyer also belongs. The FAZ co-editor Werner D'Inka was also a member of the n-ost advisory board . He assured me that he only found out about the application "in passing in my role as an advisory board member" and that he had only then contacted Sundermeyer. Perlentaucher lost its largest order to date, valued at 560,000 euros.

Press publishers litigation, 2006–2011

The pearl divers and two large German newspaper publishers wore period 2006 to 2011. a court dispute through all instances of possible copyright infringement from.

By reselling summaries from the feature pages to the online booksellers and , FAZ and SZ saw their copyrights infringed. However, their claims for injunctive relief and damages were dismissed on November 23, 2006 by the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court and on December 11, 2007, also in the second instance. The abstracts of the book reviews are permitted as free uses of the original reviews (§ 24 UrhG). Nor does their commercial use violate the plaintiffs' trademark rights or the law against unfair competition . FAZ and SZ appealed against this .

On December 1, 2010, the Federal Court of Justice overturned the appeal rulings and referred the matter back to the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main . Although he confirmed the view of the court of appeal that the plaintiffs could not demand a general ban on the use of their book reviews, the copyright admissibility of exploitation of the abstracts depends solely on whether the abstracts are independent works that can be used freely with the original reviews have been created and therefore may be used in accordance with Section 24 (1) UrhG without the consent of the author of the works used. When examining whether the summaries objected to by the plaintiffs, the appellate court did not apply the correct legal standards and did not take into account all the relevant factual circumstances. The Federal Court of Justice had therefore referred the matter back to the Court of Appeal.

On November 1, 2011, the Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court decided in the further course of the proceedings that individual Perlentaucher reviews that had appeared in December 2004 and were specifically named by the plaintiffs infringed their copyright. These abstracts consist more or less of a takeover of particularly formative and expressive passages from the original reviews, from which only a few sentences have been left out. They therefore represented an impermissible “unfree” processing within the meaning of the Copyright Act and should not have been accepted without the consent of the plaintiffs. To this - limited - scope, the higher regional court granted the appeals and changed the previous judgments of the regional court accordingly.

In January 2011, in connection with the extensive legal disputes, the Perlentaucher asked its readers for a financial contribution to ensure the continued existence of the platform. The appeal was based on the drop in prices for banner advertising on the Internet. We ask for voluntary support from the readers, because the pearl diver should continue to be available as a freely accessible offer on the Internet. The appeal generated donations of 22,000 euros within two weeks.

Debate on literary criticism, 2014/2015

In December 2014 there was a debate that Thierry Chervel had started with an interview he had given on December 9, 2014 in the program Lesart in conversation with the presenter Joachim Scholl on the then Deutschlandradio Kultur . Chervel had presented an evaluation of the book reviews he had recorded in the German feature pages , according to which the literary criticism was discussing fewer and fewer books because of the newspaper crisis and was also affected by a “tendency towards provincialization” because it was concentrating more and more on German authors, whose Texts are published by the major German publishers. Foreign authors are therefore often no longer perceived as they used to be. The number of reviews per year has almost halved since the start of the pearl diver .

The pearl diver then initiated a debate on his blog about the status and future of literary criticism. Michael Pilz finally expressed himself critical of the statistical basis on , whereupon Chervel had to relativize his original assertion.

"Lit21", since 2015

In November 2015, the Perlentaucher founded his own aggregator for literary online offers under the name The literary metablog . The planet collects the RSS feeds from 101 websites of newspaper and book publishers as well as literary blogs (as of March 2019).

Further developments

Right from the start, the focus of the offer was on a weekday morning press review in which the features of the major German-language daily and weekly newspapers ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Frankfurter Rundschau , Neue Zürcher Zeitung , Süddeutsche Zeitung , Der Tagesspiegel , the daily newspaper , Die Welt , Der Spiegel and Die Zeit ) are evaluated and summarized, an international magazine review and a book database, which at the end of 2011 comprised around 37,000 entries. Since 2000, it has collected summaries of practically all book reviews published in these newspapers.

Originally, the press review was structured according to the newspapers observed in it. The featured articles were linked to the extent that they were available online on the website of the respective newspaper publisher. Articles worth reading, which only appeared in the print edition, were also pointed out.

In the course of time, the pearl diver referred more and more to articles in foreign newspapers and magazines as well as in blogs . These first flowed into the magazine review, and later also into the press reviews. In doing so, the editorial team took into account the development of the public, which on the one hand looked increasingly international, and on the other hand took place more and more away from newspapers in digital form on the Internet, for example in literature blogs.

Since January 2014, due to the changed public as well as the usage habits of the readers, the press review has been given in two parts, which appear at the same time in the morning: The review for criticism and culture Efeu is about the development of the arts and the cultural scenes, while the Debattenrundschau 9punkt is about the cultural conversation in a broader, also political and economic sense. A book review on the daily reviews and a media ticker on media journalistic and political topics appear at lunchtime. The magazine overview primarily bundles references to foreign media. Discussions of new movies, essays and other articles in the own blog as well as the feed aggregator complete the offer.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Perlentaucher Medien GmbH. In: IVW , March 2017, accessed on October 21, 2018.
  2. Who we are. In: Pearl Divers. December 5, 2013, accessed October 21, 2018 .
  3. a b “Surfing in the deep” In: Spiegel Online , August 28, 2000, accessed on August 28, 2016 (interview with Thierry Chervel).
  4. a b Nothing interesting from Austria. Thierry Chervel on the past and future of the “pearl diver” and trends in the features section , in: Frankfurter Rundschau, February 2, 2005, city edition, page 18.
  5. a b c Andreas Borcholte: "We are journalistically independent!" In: Spiegel Online , March 15, 2005, accessed on August 28, 2016 (interview with Thiery Chervel).
  6. Today in the feature pages. In: Spiegel Online , accessed on August 28, 2016.
  7. Pearl divers. In: Steady. Retrieved May 30, 2020 .
  8. Thierry Chervel: The pearl diver needs your support - on their own behalf. In: Pearl Divers. November 25, 2019, accessed November 25, 2019 .
  9. "Winner of the" Grimme Online Award Media Journalism "" ( Memento from October 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), Adolf Grimme Institute , 2003.
  10. Anja Seeliger, Thierry Chervel: says goodbye. In: Perlentaucher , March 28, 2012, accessed March 29, 2012.
  11. ^ Enlightenment fundamentalism or racism of the anti-racists? In: , January 24, 2007 (English).
  12. Islam in Europe - The Book for Debate. In: Perlentaucher , November 1, 2007, accessed August 30, 2016
  13. ^ Farewell to Eurotopics. In: Perlentaucher , March 4, 2008.
  14. Olaf Sundermeyer: The thoughts of others. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . June 28, 2007, accessed December 23, 2014 .
  15. The thoughts of others. In: the daily newspaper . March 8, 2008, accessed December 23, 2014 .
  16. Daland Segler: One pearl less. In: Frankfurter Rundschau . March 11, 2008, accessed December 23, 2014 .
  17. Pearl diver loses his biggest job. In: Der Tagesspiegel . March 11, 2008, accessed December 23, 2014 .
  18. Federal Court of Justice decides in the legal dispute between FAZ and SZ against Perlentaucher , press release No. 229/2010 of the Federal Court of Justice, December 1, 2010, accessed on August 28, 2016.
  19. Press release of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt am Main, judgments of November 1, 2011, file numbers 11 U 75/06 and 11 U 76/06. November 1, 2011, archived from the original on November 4, 2011 ; Retrieved November 1, 2011 .
  20. Editor: FAZ and SZ against Perlentaucher: The judgment. In: Pearl Divers. November 1, 2011, accessed November 1, 2011 .
  21. Appeal. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on January 20, 2011 ; accessed on January 19, 2011 : “Dear Readers, For many of you, the pearl diver is like morning coffee at the start of the day. In order to be able to continue to offer you this service, we need your support so that the pearl diver will also exist in the future! "
  22. On our own behalf: The pearl divers thank their readers!, February 2, 2011, accessed on February 3, 2011 .
  23. ^ Newspaper Crisis : The Decline of Literary Criticism . “Perlentaucher” editor-in-chief Thierry Chervel on book reviews , in: Lesart. Deutschlandradio Kultur. Moderation: Joachim Scholl. December 9, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  24. Jan Drees : Debate: Have you already said everything, just not yet from everyone? In: Read with Links , July 8, 2015, accessed August 28, 2016.
  25. Perlentaucher Debate Literary Criticism on the Net. In: Perlentaucher , August 10, 2015. Accessed August 28, 2016.
  26. Michael Pilz: Questions of space. Some historical additions to the current debate on literary criticism. In: , July 7, 2015, accessed on August 28, 2016.
  27. Thierry Chervel: Critical Numbers. In: Perlentaucher , February 10, 2016, accessed on August 28, 2016.
  28. Database statistics . In: Retrieved November 19, 2011 (database statistics: books: 37,298, notes: 61,983, authors: 23,949, publishers: 2157).
  29. a b Pearl divers brand new. In: Perlentaucher , January 21, 2014, accessed August 28, 2016.