The German Newspaper Publishers and Digitalpublishers Association (BDZV) is the leading organization of newspaper and digital publishers in the Federal Republic of Germany. In 10 regional associations there are 286 newspapers with a total circulation of 14.3 million copies sold, as well as 13 weekly newspapers with approximately 1 million issues sold. In addition, they publish more than 600 online outlets.
The association, which has its main offices in Berlin, originated in 1954 via the merger between the "Gesamtverband der Deutschen Zeitungsverleger" (the licensee organization) and the "Verein Deutscher Zeitungsverleger". They continued the tradition of the first major publishers' organization, founded in 1894, which had been suspended in 1933. The tasks which the founding members appointed to the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers and which are recorded in its statute, are based on the experiences, endeavours and the aims of its forerunner organizations. The BDZV aims at the maintenance and the representation of the common ideals and economic interests of the publishing houses. In particular its tasks include:
- The safeguarding of the independence of democratic German newspapers.
- The maintenance of the journalistic task of German newspaper publishers.
- The protection and the promotion of the reputation of the newspaper publishing houses in the public eye, and the representation thereof vis-à-vis the Federal Government, peoples' representatives, authorities and other organizations.
- The maintenance of a level of competition which is appropriate to the professional status, and the combating of improper advertising, as well as all methods employed in over-agressive competition.
- The promotion of the education of trainees in newspaper publishing houses.
- The conducting of negotiations in matters of social legislation and the conclusion of wage agreements.
- The provision of information and legal opinions on fundamental questions on newsprinting.
- The fostering of international relationships.
The BDZV has the legal form of a registered association. Its organs are the Presidency, the Extended Presidency and the Delegates' Assembly.
The Delegates' Assembly is made up of the members of the Presidency and the delegates elected by the member publishing houses, the number of which is determined by the size of circulation and the number of member publishing houses in the respective regional associations. Their task is, above all, to deal with fundamental press-political matters and to elect the President and his four Deputies. It also has to decide on joint measures for solidarity in wage disputes. The Presidency represents the Federal Association in public circles and heads the Association.
The Extended Presidency consists of the President, his Deputies and the respective Chairmen of the member associations. It supports the President in his activities for the Federal Association and controls the implementation of the decisions made by the Delegates´ Assembly.