News and Media

Three young people are using s TV set, a laptop, and a smartphone in one apartment

What is freedom of the press?

Freedom of the press is enshrined in article 5 of the German constitution. It guarantees everyone who works as a journalist the right to free distribution of news and opinions as well as independence in reporting. Censorship is prohibited in Germany. The state is therefore not permitted to determine what is and is not published.

The limit to freedom of the press is in the protection of minors and of personal honour. Media products that glorify violence may not be sold e.g. to minors. Anyone who publishes an opinion and in so doing harms others or incites hatred and violence is liable to prosecution.

More information about the rules of coexistence can be found in stage 1.

What is the Rundfunkbeitrag (radio contribution)?

The Rundfunkbeitrag is charged to finance the programmes of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio (German radio). For adult citizens, the simple rule applies: one dwelling – one contribution. It makes no difference how many radios are in one dwelling or how many people live there – 17.50 Euro per month must be paid. If several people live together then one person registers and pays the Rundfunkbeitrag for the entire dwelling. The contribution also covers motor vehicles for private use, but not second or additional homes. A further Rundfunkbeitrag must be paid for each of these.
People in receipt of state social benefits can apply for exemption from payment of the Rundfunkbeitrag. People with disabilities pay a reduced contribution.