Business, Economics and Jobs

Is Germany's Bild, the world's most powerful paper?


Man reads Bild, Germany's popular tabloid.


Odd Andersen

During my time in Greece to cover the elections, one word I heard over and over again was: "Bild," as in the German newspaper/tabloid.

Bild is the most-read newspaper in Germany, and it's widely seen as reinforcing stereotypes about Greece, that it's filled with lazy workers and welfare-dependent, corrupt politicians.

On election eve, Bild published an inflammatory letter to the Greek people, that some thought might swing the dial towards the left-wing Alexis Tsipras (it didn't).

The newspaper also does stuff like go into hysterics over the slightest notion that Germany might allow a little more inflation.

Anyway, given the significance of the Euro crisis to the global economy, and given Germany's role in ending the crisis, and given Bild's influence within Germany, it's very easy to identify it as being the most powerful and influential newspaper in the world right now.

A Reuters article (via Ekathimerini) actually has a profile today with Bild editor Nikolas Blome.

"Greece is one of the most important issues we've dealt with in the last couple of years and because it affects the euro it's an issue that touches everyone," said Blome, 48, who defends his conservative political views in a weekly TV talk show.

He bristled at the suggestion that Bild has tackled Greece harder than other newspapers in Germany. "It's not just a topic for Bild newspaper. It's a topic for every newspaper."

Bild began reporting extensively about Greece early, running heavy coverage two years ago that some analysts say reinforced the German government's initial reluctance to intervene in the country's meltdown.

The paper, he said, has a "clear editorial consensus that Greece is not going to be rescued the way this is going and that it should probably leave the euro zone at least for the time being. Greece needs a currency devaluation, a new currency, a new drachma. That's the fastest and best way to restore the country's competitiveness. That's a view shared by everyone at the paper."



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