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Thank you Germany: Part 038: Diverse radio scene enlivens culture


The radio scene in Germany is particularly diverse. The reason for this is as follows: there is a large amount of both public radio stations and independent radio projects. The public stations are supported by the radio and broadcasting licence fee. This ensures that radio not only delivers mass production, but also offers programmes with cultural content. The stations specifically address certain target groups. From young to old, there is thus exactly the right station for every single inhabitant in the country. Here they are offered the right music, are informed about current developments in the field of politics, are entertained with radio plays or informed about conversation.

There are also quite a few programmes where listeners can call in themselves. In some of these programmes, listeners can request a particular song, which is then played. Other programmes have a conversation with the callers on a certain topic, discuss personal problems or record individual stories from their own lives. Even those who are not celebrities can have their say in this prominent way. This possibility is still used by many people. Young people in particular are also listening to the radio more again today.

In connection with smartphones and the internet, it has become much easier to listen to the radio in everyday life. From the car journey to long journeys to short breaks at work or the time spent in a doctor’s waiting room, free time can be bridged in an entertaining way. Almost all German regions also have their own independent radio projects. Here, ordinary citizens make radio programmes their own special passion. These programmes also enjoy a high reputation among a die-hard fan community. They enrich the programme with locally important offerings. In addition, they easily offer people the opportunity to become active on the radio themselves.

Many people take advantage of this opportunity. Many a small radio programme has subsequently become a popular podcast. Podcasts are small radio programmes offered by people on the internet. The word originated from the fusion of the English word “broadcast” and the second part of the mp4 player i-Pod. In Germany, many people offer their own podcast on the internet on very different topics. Depending on their interests, people can download the programmes and listen to them one after the other. These programmes, often created by just one or two people, also enrich the cultural offerings on the radio.

Many young people have their favourite podcast and follow the programmes of this offer over many episodes. And the new offering, which has only been around for a few decades, is also popular with many older people. Some grandparents, for example, listen to their grandchildren’s podcasts and recommend them to their acquaintances. In this way, the creative radio offer is opening up an ever larger audience. If you are a fan of radio, you simply have to love Germany. It offers many opportunities to both listeners and producers. In some places, listeners are given the opportunity to become broadcasters themselves with a phone call on a small scale. In this way, the technical medium can democratise society. Even if this possibility is not used by every station, some are happy to take it up.

Last updated on 6. February 2023

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