The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia

The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia stands for the protection of human dignity, minors, media users and private media plurality in the German Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On one hand, we accomplish this by regulating and supervising existing media services to ensure that these legally protected interests are not violated. At the same time, we promote journalism in North Rhine-Westphalia and teach people to use media fairly and autonomously.

Media regulation in Germany 

In Germany there is a dual broadcasting system encompassing both public service and private broadcasters. Private broadcasters are primarily financed through advertising, while the public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF receive funding through the public licence/household fee (which is 17,50 Euro per month). Oversight also varies for public service and private broadcasters. The media authorities only act as contacts for private radio and television broadcasters as public service channels are supervised by their internal broadcasting councils.

Moreover, according to the German constitution, broadcasting is regulated by the individual federal states, and the same applies accordingly to broadcasting oversight. Therefore, there are 14 state media authorities, corresponding to one for nearly every federal state. Berlin and Brandenburg share a joint media authority, as do Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.


What is our role?

Media orientation

Media regulation

Media policy and economics

Promotion of journalism


How are we financed?

The state media authorities are registered public institutes funded by a small portion of the public licence/household fee. This means that our organization is independent from the state and financially independent.


What is the legal basis for our work?

State media authorities operate on the basis of the State Media Treaty, as well as the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Media, state media laws, and the AVMS Directive. All our legal foundations can be found here.


Who are “die medienanstalten”?

In addition, the 14 media authorities in Germany collaborate on central tasks and projects under the umbrella brand “die medienanstalten”. This ensures uniform regulation for all the private radio and television channels throughout Germany and that the media authorities speak with a single voice with regard to European media policy. Further details on the media authorities can be found on their joint website.