Guaranteed freedom of the press
Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are guaranteed in Germany and are protected by the constitution. They are anchored in article 5 of the Basic Law, which states: “Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. … There shall be no censorship.”
The Press Freedom Index compiled by the NGO Reporters Without Borders ranks Germany 11th of 180 countries in 2020. There is a diversity of opinions and a pluralism of information. The press is not controlled by governments or parties, as private-sector media corporations are responsible for it. In Berlin alone, which is among the top ten media cities worldwide, there are 900 accredited parliamentary correspondents and 440 foreign correspondents from 60 different countries on the ground.
Free access to information
Freedom of the press is also protected by the German Press Council. This organisation, which is made up of various publishing and journalism associations, monitors free access to information as well as proper conduct among the press. In doing so, the Press Council weighs up the general public’s right to free information against requirements for child protection, human dignity and personal privacy.