German magazine publishers launch German Free Press Media Association

In a fundamental reform process, the representation of interests of German magazine publishers has become the German Free Press Media Association (MVFP: Medienverband der freien Presse), adopting a comprehensive commitment to the importance of the free press for the stability of a democratic society. 

The new association takes over the function of the Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ) in representing the media-political interests of over 400 publishers with more than 7,000 magazine and media platforms. Last week, the assembly of delegates of the new association – consisting of 42 representatives of German publishers – met for the first time, unanimously electing its executive committee: 

  • Dr. Rudolf Thiemann (President), Liborius Verlagsgruppe 
  • Holger Knapp, Sternefeld Medien
  • Detlef Koenig, mhp Medien
  • Bianca Pohlmann, Funke Mediengruppe 
  • Lars Joachim Rose, Mediengruppe Klambt 
  • Dr. Alfons Schräder, Heise Medien
  • Philipp Welte, Hubert Burda Media 

“As a strong community of magazine publishers in politically and socially challenging times, we have created an entrepreneurial, non-material and publishing interest group for our industry with the new media association of the free press,” said Dr. Rudolf Thiemann, newly elected President of the new association. “I would like to thank all of our colleagues for their continuous and effective commitment over the past few years. A new era in the representation of political interests by the free press has begun. I am therefore extremely pleased about the trust that the delegates have placed in me.”

In order to organize internal decision-making democratically and to be able to represent the interests of all members in the best possible way, the new association has five state representations for the regions of Bavaria, Berlin-Brandenburg, North, North Rhine-Westphalia and Southwest; the specific interests of the genres of consumer media, B2B and confessional press are aggregated in specialist representations.

“With the assembly of delegates and the election of the presidency, our reform comes to a formal conclusion today: the German Free Press Media Association replaces the VDZ as a new, integrated federal association and modern organized interest group, with compact and efficient structures and a uniform, fair membership fee for all our members,” explained Detlef Koenig, Vice President and Chairman of the Southwest State Representation. 

“The media association will effectively represent the interests of its member publishers in Berlin, in Brussels and together with the state representations in the federal states, articulate the interests of the genres and offer all members a national and regional range of services tailored to them.”

The group will place a high emphasis on the importance of an independent press, recognizing the enormous challenges for the free press in Europe and the Russian war against the young democracy in Ukraine, accompanied by the manipulative approach of Russian state propaganda. The delegates said that one of the key goals of the association was to contribute to the “freedom of the opinions and diversity of life plans in our pluralistic democracy.” Full story here


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