German free paper ‘angst’

German publishers never let you down when it comes to getting good quotes on the possible launch of free dailies in their country. This time it is director Dietmar Wolff of the German publishers organization Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV).

Wolff is calling the plans of the government-controlled Deutsche Post AG for a free daily (see previous post) “a play with fire of politicians” (”Ein Spiel der Politik mit dem Feuer”).

The plans are scandalous according to Wolff. He pointed to Switzerland, where it was demonstrated that “free papers are the worse enemies of newspapers.” (”Der schlimmste Feind der Zeitung sei die Gratiszeitung.”) (Wiener Zeitung)

In Switzerland, however, the drop in paid circulation has been less than in Germany. In Switzerland there are seven free newspapers with a market share of more than 40%; in Germany there are no free dailies.

German publishers are responsible for the fact that in their country young people read much less newspapers than in other European countries.

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