Voice of Germany turns from German to Foreign Listeners

Traditionally, the Voice of Germany has, above all, seen itself as a source of information for Germans living abroad. Erik Bettermann, its director, says that this is going to change: “The Voice of Germany wants to reach people who influence opinion making and democratic processes.” Just by speaking German, this goal would not be reached, said Bettermann. He refers to foreign radio and television broadcasters such as BBC World, Al-Dschasira [Oumph. Should have been Al-Jazeera.] oder France 24 and points out that the BBC has a budget of six million Euros [update: 24 mn Euros], while the Voice of Germany has to work with only six million Euros.

Germany’s international broadcaster would only be successful in competing with its global competitors if provided with the necessary financial means. Quality journalism was needed, as the debate about the Chinese department had shown, Bettermann said, according to the Kölner Stadtanzeiger. This required internal debate, too, but this in turn required sufficient human resources.

Voice of Germany will boost its television programs in English and Spanish, while a German program will be broadcast on a second channel. Audio programs will be increased online, with live stream and audio on demand. Listening and watching habits had changed, said Bettermann.

By the end of this year, the station will have decided on its future course to steer. The current total budget is 275 million Euros – the station is funded by the federal government. For 2013, Bettermann expects a need of additional 78 million Euros.

The Voice already played an important role in the promotion of democracy, said Bettermann. With its Global Media Forum, scheduled in Bonn in June this year, the broadcaster offered a platform for the global media community.

Unharmonious Days at the Voice of Germany’s Chinese Service »
Chinese Department in Translation »
Will CCTV and Xinhua shape China’s Global Image? »

7 Responses to “Voice of Germany turns from German to Foreign Listeners”

  1. Sir,

    Iam a juournalist from Online news agency and working for a leading newsagency. I have a keen interest to wok with your esteemed organization as free lancer. I have a complete grip over national issues and also covered a lot of seminars on different international issues. Hope you will give me an opportunity.

    Thanking you in anticipation
    [editor’s note: name deleted]
    contact# [phone number deleted]


  2. *snickers*
    JR isn’t the Voice of Germany. He only looks like it.



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