In 2013, a report on progress so far and sources consulted, “Geschichte des Nord- und Westdeutschen Rundfunkverbands (NWRV) (1956-1961)” [The History of North and West German Broadcasting (NWRV) (1956-1961)], was made available. The NWRV, a joint organisation of the broadcasters, NDR and WDR, from 1956 to 1961 formed the institutional framework for television in northwestern Germany.
Its work came about against the background of the ascendancy of television as the leading medium; its dissolution came simultaneously with the “television judgement” of the German Constitutional Court in 1961 and the ensuing creation of the “Second German Television”, as well as with the introduction of third television channels at the broadcaster, ARD, shortly afterwards.
In 2013/14, a report will be produced on sources and literature consulted regarding the debates on regionalisation in the history of the NDR from its foundation to the solution of the crisis over the treaty between the states. In terms of communications history, the question arises as to how public broadcasting tries, as an actor in the media, to create regional spaces of communication and how it contributes to processes of regional identity-formation in the long term.
In addition, a report on sources and literature consulted is being prepared, which should facili-tate a study on the NDR as a cultural and economic factor (1956-1980).
The fact that public broadcasting in West Germany post-war was not left up to the market but made independent of the economic profit-motive by deriving its finance from a fee lends it a particular status from the viewpoint of business history. As public service broadcasting could draw on this fee, it is in a different position to publishers of books, magazines and newspapers, who have to make a profit, and so it commits itself to using its financial resources according to its statutes to produce and broadcast programmes. In contemporary terms, shareholder value and public value confront each other.
Results from the individual sub-projects are published as regular contributions to “NDR Ges-chichte (n)” [NDR History (ies). The goal of this online project by the NDR is “to present the various facets of the NDR’s history and make it available to users.” All “NDR History (ies)” can be downloaded from the NDR homepage.