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The Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) Hessen

Trade union and professional association of journalists

We are the voice of the journalists in the federal state of Hesse

We are the advocate for journalists in Germany. With around 2,000 members, the Deutscher Journalisten Verband (DJV) stands as the premier journalistic organization in Hesse. We champion the concerns of journalists in Hesse, advocating for their interests before politicians, the media, and the general public. Moreover, the DJV is dedicated to safeguarding copyright and advancing the standards of exceptional journalism. We operate with complete political and financial autonomy, free from any external influence. The DJV upholds and nurtures the journalistic independence of its members.

The DJV is your dedicated partner for all journalism-related matters. As a trade union, we vigorously advocate for the rights, improved working conditions, and equitable compensation of journalists in Germany. This includes activities such as negotiating collective agreements and advocating for just remuneration. Simultaneously, we function as a professional association, providing a range of services designed to simplify your professional life. These include:

  • The national press card, facilitating seamless access to various events and information.
  • Comprehensive legal protection to shield you from legal issues and represent your interests in case of disputes. Additionally, we offer legal advice to assist you with inquiries regarding contracts, fees, or copyrights.
  • Educational opportunities to keep you current and enhance your skill set.
  • Networking events that afford you the chance to connect with and be inspired by your peers.
  • Insights into journalism and media policy, ensuring you're well-informed and equipped with the necessary context.

Regardless of whether you're employed or freelance, contributing to print, online, radio, or TV, and irrespective of your level of experience, we're here to support you!

DJV state office

DJV Regional Association of Hesse e.V.
Rheinbahnstraße 3
65185 Wiesbaden
Hessen / Deutschland
Telefon: +49 611 3419124
Telefax: +49 611 3419130

Business hours:
Monday till Thursday:
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
9 a.m. to 3 p.m

Telephone consultation hours:
Monday till Thursday:
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m
9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m and 2 p.m. to 3:00 p.m

Apply for a press card

The DJV nationwide press card enables you as a journalist to easily prove your full-time journalistic activity to authorities, event organizers, companies or organizations.

Apply for a press card

Bundeseinheitlicher Presseausweis 2023

Below, you'll discover additional in-depth information about the DJV. Should you have any further questions or require additional details, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

DJV - more than a trade union

A journalist's profession is a unique calling, often seen as a mission rather than just a job. The demands on journalists are formidable and are continually rising in the information-driven society of the 21st century. In today's world, easy access to global information via the Internet has become standard. As the volume of available information grows, the role of specialists who can curate, verify, analyze, and provide context becomes increasingly critical. Credibility of information sources is a decisive criterion. Journalists are the guardians of this credibility.

This underscores the vital importance of independent journalism to a democratic society. It's the linchpin for upholding the freedom of information, ensuring that every citizen can form their own opinion without undue influence. The majority of Germany's 73,000 journalists are keenly aware of their responsibility to society and invest significant time and effort accordingly.

Journalism demands a high level of self-reflection and continual self-assessment. The German Federation of Journalists is the professional association that empowers journalists to focus on their craft and become subjects of discussion themselves. DJV facilitates opportunities for experienced journalists to interact, as well as for colleagues from various sectors to meet and discuss emerging developments in the media landscape. DJV unites journalists at national and international gatherings, congresses, and training events, as well as in local forums and discussion circles. Particularly, young journalists have the chance to interact with seasoned professionals and gain inspiration for their work.

Journalists operate within specific frameworks intended to allow them to work as financially independent, well-trained permanent editorial staff or freelancers. For over 75 years, the German Federation of Journalists in Hessen, the journalists' trade union, has been dedicated to upholding these frameworks. In collective bargaining and media policy, DJV advocates for systematic training, ongoing professional development, and copyright protection, especially in the digital realm. DJV also encourages its members to take strike action when necessary to uphold social and legal standards. Through the strike fund, freelancers are ensured participation in industrial actions with potential compensation for income losses.

Today, both editorial and freelance journalists are taking on increasingly technical responsibilities. Regional editorial teams prepare entire newspaper pages for print, while radio journalists produce their programs entirely at digital workstations. Some publishing houses outsource entire departments like local editorial, designating them as profit centers. This means that industrial agreements no longer apply to editorial staff, and marketing duties are now part of daily editorial responsibilities.

As a highly specialized trade union exclusively for journalists, DJV can closely observe and respond to developments on-site in editorial departments, studios, and freelance studios. The evolution of the job description 'journalist' is being carefully monitored.

The number of freelance journalists continues to grow, and evidently, the outsourcing processes at publishers and broadcast stations are still ongoing. The delineation between journalism and other communication fields is increasingly blurred in the new tasks associated with online journalism. If there's no longer a clear distinction between advertising and the editorial section, the role of the journalist would need to be redefined. This means that established journalism, which is crucial for societal information, would be at risk.

DJV consistently reminds the public of this significance. The necessary and beneficial modernization of job descriptions should uphold journalistic standards like independence, accuracy, fairness, and respect for the fundamental principles outlined in the press code. Journalists shouldn't be hindered by market competition, for instance, between privately and publicly owned broadcasting stations. The freedom of the press, a crucial component of our democracy, could be compromised in the medium term if media outlets exclusively pursue market mechanisms and commercial interests.

DJV scrutinizes processes of market consolidation, particularly critically. Ensuring a diversity of opinions can only be achieved through a pluralistic media landscape. Hence, DJV insists on effective oversight and limitations on monopolies in the press and broadcasting.

DJV strives for responsible, credible, and independent journalism. Its views receive ongoing media coverage, and it serves as the voice of journalism in Germany. DJV is dedicated to independently representing the professional and social needs of its members.

Comprehensive and expert representation: the DJV structure. An increasing number of journalists view DJV as their advocate. Presently, around 2,000 journalists are members of DJV Hessen. On a global scale, this places DJV among the largest national journalists' trade unions. It's one of the oldest and most significant entities within the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), representing nearly 600,000 journalists in over 100 countries. Recognition of its accomplishments motivates DJV to offer even more effective on-site support and services, while continuing its commitment to independent journalism.

The daily operations are overseen by the seven-member Federal Executive Council, which collaborates closely with the DJV Federal Branch Office. A vibrant professional association and a determined trade union thrive on their members' involvement. Without their dedication, DJV wouldn't be able to achieve political victories or provide practical assistance. Therefore, engaged members actively participate in all DJV boards, thus organizing association activities.

Vocational training - the German "Volontariat"

In Germany, journalism is considered a free profession. As a result, the vocational training for journalists is not legally regulated and falls outside the scope of the German Vocational Training Law. Becoming a journalist in Germany does not necessitate passing an examination or any other formal tests.

The majority of German journalists acquire their vocational training within a publishing company through a program known as a 'Volontariat', which extends beyond a typical internship. This in-house training program is governed by a collective agreement for German newspapers and magazines. A similar framework applies in both public and private broadcasting, as well as in press agencies. Upon completion of the Volontariat, a journalist can embark on their career as an editor in print or electronic media. However, it's worth noting that not every program labeled as a 'Volontariat' lives up to its name. The DJV provides young journalists with information regarding the criteria for a robust and widely recognized Volontariat, and advises them on what to look out for. Some individuals opt for alternative paths to enter the field of journalism, such as pursuing a formal education in journalism or completing vocational training at a private journalism school.

Information to download

Below, you can access additional detailed information about DJV in English through our brochure downloads.

DJV Info-Flyer

The DJV is more than just a trade union! Download our flyer for essential information about the German Federation of Journalists.

Vocational profile

The role of a professional journalist is to bring to light facts, trends, and issues of broad societal, political, economic, or cultural significance.