Mission, Financing, Users | FAQs about DW as a media organisation | DW | 12.04.2024
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FAQ: The Organization

Mission, Financing, Users

Discover more about DW's mission, how it is funded and how DW researches its target audience.

What kind of company is Deutsche Welle?

DW is Germany’s international broadcaster. It is organized under public law and funded by the German federal tax budget.
Its director is Peter Limbourg. A total of about 3,000 staff and freelance employees from 60 countries work at DW’s headquarters in Bonn and its Berlin site.


Who finances Deutsche Welle?

Deutsche Welle is the only broadcaster under federal law since the reform of the public broadcasting system, which took place following German Reunification. Unlike the ARD broadcasters, Deutschlandradio and ZDF, it doesn’t receive funding via broadcasting fees but is instead funded by tax revenues.
The Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media manages the budget. In addition, DW can only offer limited advertising time.

DW makes its plans and projects available to the public in an annually updated multi-year plan.


How does Deutsche Welle know who its audience is?

DW engages in wide-ranging market and media research to better understand its audience. It analyzes the media markets in the target areas.

The Deutsche Welle law stipulates that DW performs “an ongoing assessment of their offers and their effects”. The final step in this process is an evaluation report, which is published on the Internet.

In regular studies, DW explores the structure of national, regional, and local media markets and examines the reach of its individual offers. These studies also assess the image of DW and Germany. Other valuable information is also gathered, such as how the target population uses established and new media and what content it considers interesting. A differentiated picture is necessary because digitization and other factors have had a significant impact on how media is used across all markets. 

DW uses personal, telephone, online, and email surveys as part of its media research as well as channel evaluations by media experts, in-depth interviews, and focus groups—face-to-face and online.

In the last four years alone, DW has performed research in more than 100 countries. This established the basis for ensuring that our content is interesting and appropriate for our target audience.

DW’s media research arm is an active participant in the ARD/ZDF media commission and a member of the "Conference of International Broadcasters’ Audience Research Services" (CIBAR). Other CIBAR members include Radio France Internationale, BBC Global News, Voice of America/IBB, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in addition to many other international broadcasting service providers. They agree on standards for global media research, exchange experiences, and cooperate on research. This ensures that the media research of DW always uses the best methods for its surveys in order to continuously evaluate its offers.


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