I.M. Erofeev  pp.126-138

Abstract. To analyze the way German Mass Media have acquired their political weight on the international arena, it is necessary to do so against the background of the socio-historical development of Germany. On the one hand, the stages of German Mass Media evolution and their growth as a political instrument are closely connected with the socio-economic development of German society and, on the other hand, with the introduction of scientific and technological innovations into the sphere of information dissemination. The systems of Mass Media in Germany have undergone deep transformations on their way to form informational structures able to relay political views of different participants of the political process. The aim of the paper is to determine the main stages in the development of German Mass Media as an influential participants of international politics, parallel with following their evolution  as such, since the XIXth century up to nowadays. The methodology of the research is based on the historical-genetic method which presupposes tracking the changes while analyzing any phenomenon, institution, or process. The paper analyzes how Mass Media exert their influence on forming public opinion. A number of changes in the system and structure of German Mass Media occurred during World Wars when their main functions were transformed. In view of social and political transformations, Mass Media functioning mechanisms were re[laced: now, ideology and propaganda came to the fore. In the post-war period, both the political system and Mass Media in Germany went through a number of swift alterations that have radically changed the very structure of German society. The active flow of transformations in the informational and political spheres gave the opportunity to build the system of democratic Mass Media and a developed information society from the very beginning. Contemporary German Mass Media exert a great influence upon the citizens’ public, social and political life. Nowadays, Mass Media information market in Germany represents a wide variety of different sources of information, from traditional printed press to an actively developing electronic segment of the mediamarket. The paper analyzes the problems of normative and legal regulation of the activity of Mass Media in Germany and the level of state influence upon German media sphere at present.

Key words: German Mass Media, information, public opinion, state bodies