The German media landscape is characterized by a considerable variety of media accountability instruments. Among them, the German Press Council and its code of ethics play a central role, while self-regulatory mechanisms at the level of newsrooms are slowly gaining ground. Media criticism has a long tradition in the German journalism history; up till now, however, it has to cope with the inevitable problems of self-referentiality. A lively German media blogosphere and other innovative accountability instruments in the social web offer new impulses to media self-regulation; they still lack differentiation, though, and little is known about their actual impact on practical journalism. Despite the diversity of the German media accountability culture, the basic problem of how to attract the attention of a larger non-journalistic audience remains virulent for many of the existing instruments. A possible solution may be found in the creation of networks of media accountability in which established and innovative instruments work together.
For more details see Tobias Eberwein (2011): Germany: Model without Value? In: Tobias Eberwein / Susanne Fengler / Epp Lauk / Tanja Leppik-Bork (eds.): Mapping Media Accountability – in Europe and Beyond. Cologne: Herbert von Halem Verlag, pp. 77-89.