DW represents Germany in the international media landscape. Germany’s international broadcaster conveys the country as a nation rooted in European culture and as a liberal, democratic state based on the rule of law.
As part of its statutory mission, DW works independently to present events and developments in Germany and the world and picks up on German and other points of view on important issues. It promotes exchange and understanding between the world's cultures and people. Deutsche Welle also provides access to the German language, the daily life and the mentality of the people.
We fulfill this mission with a full range of television, radio and online services. DW is known for its in-depth, reliable news and information in 30 languages – in Arabic and Kiswahili, Indonesian and Urdu, Russian and Spanish, German and English. Culture, education and Europe; those are some of our focal points. We classify facts, explain contexts and analyze background information.
Our language courses present people with the opportunity to learn German from the experts. We offer everything from modern e-learning services, videos, audio courses and podcasts to written materials and worksheets.
We address people who are interested in Germany and Europe – especially those who are seen as opinion-leaders in their homeland. In authoritarian states, this applies to those who actively stand up for democracy, civil rights and liberties and progress. We work hard to communicate with people from all backgrounds – and do so by addressing them in their native language and the "lingua franca", English. Our services in German are targeted espcially to people with good language skills, and to German students and teachers. Every week, we reach about 200 million people worldwide who value us as a trustworthy source of information.
Technological progress is changing the media landscape, and people continue to develop new ways of accessing information. We adapt our distribution channels to meet those needs. In the era of satellite and IPTV, of apps and social networks, analogue shortwave transmission only plays a role in a few regions. We rely on a worldwide satellite network, on partner stations and the Internet, where we offer audio and video-on-demand, podcasts and mobile services. But we can still be heard via shortwave in Africa and parts of Asia.
Our DW Akademie provides advanced media training for media professionals, journalists, documentary producers, technicians and managers from around the world. We offer comprehensive, on-site training and advice to our partner stations. DW Akademie makes further education a reality with traineeships and a master's program. It’s all part of a concept based on sustainable media development. But we also work at our headquarters in Bonn to provide media training for executives of German companies and institutions who will work abroad.
Deutsche Welle is regulated by public law and financed by federal tax revenue. The annual budget for 2012 is about €271 million. Erik Bettermann has been Director General since 2001. More than 1,500 employees and hundreds of freelancers from 60 countries work in our headquarters in Bonn and in Berlin.
We have been on the air since May 3, 1953. The then German Federal President, Theodor Heuss, formulated Deutsche Welle's mission as "relaxation". Today, the focus is on intercultural dialogue. We were broadcasting in more than 30 languages by 1980 and since 1992 we have offered television worldwide via satellite. In 1994 DW branched out to the Internet as the first public broadcaster in Germany to go online.