Deutsche Welle

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The Deutsche Welle building in Bonn

Deutsche Welle or DW is the international broadcaster of Germany, utilising shortwave and satellite for radio and television broadcasts in 29 languages. DW also has a 30-language online presence. It is also a participant in Digital Radio Mondiale. Deutsche Welle, which in English roughly means "German Wave", is generally comparable to international broadcasters such as the BBC World Service, Voice of America, or Radio France Internationale.

Deutsche Welle has broadcast regularly since May 3, 1953. Until 2003 it was based in Cologne, but in honour of its 50th birthday, it was relocated to a building in Bonn's old government office area, where the radio broadcasts are produced. The television broadcasts are produced in Berlin. DW-WORLD.DE (, the Deutsche Welle's Internet presence, is produced in both Berlin and Bonn.



A first broadcasting society called Deutsche Welle GmbH was founded in August, 1924, seated in Berlin. It was a common corporation of all Germany's regional broadcasters.

But the new Deutsche Welle established in 1953 is a completely different institution. The history of this new Deutsche Welle began on May 3, 1953, with its first shortwave broadcasting in German. It was directed at Germans all over the world and spoken by the then President of Germany, Theodor Heuss. On June 11, 1953, the public broadcasters in the ARD signed a treaty to establish the common short wave radio programme "Deutsche Welle". It was first lead by the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR), later by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR).

In 1954, the Deutsche Welle started to broadcast programmes in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

In 1960 the "Deutsche Welle" became an independent public body, which on June 7, 1962 joined the ARD as a national broadcasting station. Also in 1962 the programme was extended to other languages: Persian, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Serbian and Croatian. In 1963 these languages were joined by programmes in Swahili and Hausa, Indonesian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Slovenian. In 1964 and 1970 the linguistic plurality was extended another time to include: Greek, Italian, Hindi and Urdu, as well as Pashtu and Dari.

From 1963 the Deutsche Welle has sent copies of movies to television stations.

With the re-unification of the two German states in 1990, the Radio Berlin International (RBI) of the GDR ceased to exist. Some of the staff and personnel of RBI joined the Deutsche Welle as well as some broadcasting apparatus and frequencies.

On April 1, 1992, Deutsche Welle started a German and English language television channel (DW TV). The channel is broadcast via satellite, and was later extended to include programs in Spanish and Albanian. The former RIAS-TV programme was incorporated into DW TV.

After the restructuring of the public broadcasting structure on the national level in 1994, which consisted mainly in the inclusion of the former independent radio broadcasting service Deutschlandfunk into DeutschlandRadio, Deutsche Welle took over some of Deutschlandfunk's foreign language programmes in 1993.

In 1994, Deutsche Welle was the first public broadcaster in Germany with its own World Wide Web presence ( ( It now has a 30-language Web site DW-WORLD.DE (

Another language expansion came in 2000 with an Ukrainian programme.

In 2001 Deutsche Welle got togetther with ARD and ZDF, and founded the German TV channel for North America, viewable via pay TV.

Several DW programs are widely syndicated on public-broadcasting stations in the US. WNVC (aka the MHz Network) in Northern Virginia/DC and KMTP in San Francisco also devote a significant portion of their broadcasting week to carriage of DW programming, as does the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Similarly, many community television stations in Australia also carry a lot of DW sourced programming.

The Deutsche Welle is still suffering from financial and personnel cuts. Its budget was cut by about 75 million in five years and of the 2,200 employees it had in 1994, 1,200 remain. Further cuts are still expected.

In 2003, the German government passed a new "Deutsche Welle Law", which defined DW as a three-media organization -- making DW-WORLD.DE an equal partner with DW-TV and DW-RADIO. DW-WORLD.DE is available in 30 languages, but focuses on German (, English (, Spanish (, Russian (, Portuguese for Brazil (,1595,607,00.html) and Chinese (,1595,293,00.html). Arabic (,1595,613,00.html) became the 7th focus language on January 2005.


Deutsche Welle Services

  • DW-RADIO: radio broadcasting in 29 languages, with a 24 hour programme in German and English
  • DW-TV: television broadcasting in German, English and Spanish, windows in other languages
  • DW-WORLD.DE: 30 language website (
  • German TV: German language pay-TV, by DW (, ARD and ZD] - Website (

External link

de:Deutsche Welle pt:Deutsche Welle ru:Немецкая волна zh:德国之声 fr:Deutsche Welle


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