very interesting topic! :thumb:
Well in Germany media isn't owned by the government/state.
On the one hand we have a Working Pool of the Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany (short ARD) which is financed by special fee. After the war we only had ARD (it's a "community" of all statewide stadions = Bavarian broadcast + Middel Germany broadcast + South West broadcast ...), so later the ZDF (Second German Television) was founded as alternative. Everyone has to pay this fee if he owns a device usable for recieving (TV, radio, pc with tv-card - it doesn't matter whether he watches/listens ARD/ZDF or not). Iirc it is approx. 16€/month for a radio and tv. With these incomes the ARD (and ZDF) produce their broadcastings maintain their internet-platforms, perform special events and so on. The right to collect the money is anchored in particular treaties. There is also written down that financing of these "public stations" shouldn't be done with advertisement. (Ads are allowed - not after 8 pm - but they must not play a major part. --> justification of that "broadcasting fee" must be remarked)
On the other hand we have the private companies. They get their money by selling advertisement (like everywhere). Beside ARD/ZDF , RTL (a Bertelsmann AG), Sat1 and ProSieben are most important. ProSieben and Sat 1 are one company which owns also two other channels (but they don't play that role as there movies which were shown on Sat 1 or ProSieben get recycled again and again).
ARD/ZDF (with over 60 radio stations and more than 15 channels) - "public"
Sat1 and ProSieben - Saban Holding
Kabel 1 - Saban Holding
N24 (news) - Saban Holding
RTL - Bertelsmann AG
RTL II - Bertelsmann AG
Vox - Bertelsmann AG
Viva (music) - Viacom
n-tv (news) - RTL/Time Warner and CNN
Super RTL - Walt Disney/CLT-UFA (=RTL Group)
DSF (sport) - Karstadt Quelle (shops)/Sport Media Holding
So you can see that Bertelsmann AG and Saban Holding are quite big but there are special laws which limit the spread of each company. for example the Bertelsmann AG can't buy/set up another channel as they already reached their limit of viewers (nationwide). Moreover we don't have a nationwide radio station (only local/regional ones).
everyone can start his newspaper, no regulations, censorships only after publication (three topics are forbidden anyway: instigation of violence, glorification of National Socialism and its ideologies, pornography with children/animals). The Springer AG is owner of the "newspaper" with the highest circulation. It's called "Bild" and it's a stupid tabloid. Springer is part of Bertelsmann AG. The daily newspaper market is shared by 5 publishers, so there isn't really a monopoly. We have three weekly magazins which are sold in the whole country. Every is owned by another company ("Stern" - Gruner + Jahr AG, "Focus" - Focus Media, "Spiegel" - Springer AG (=Bertelsmann AG))
the biggest media company is the Bertelsmann AG holding 4 TV-channels and various radio stations/magazins. but - I underline it again - with all their subsidiaries they don't govern the media market. most important to know is that in germany the media system is devided into two parts: the "public" one and the privately owned. They are equal, exist side by side and have to obey the same laws. (moreover ARD/ZDF have another duties but that would make the whole story too long
...sorry I've to end..the internet cafe closes...maybe I'll write more later..