Press coverage of the German reunification issue in a long-term perspective, 1990–2014
This paper analyses the long-term coverage 1990–2014 of German reunification by six German newspapers. Our quantitative content analysis shows how often the press covers the event, what the content of the coverage is, and how journalists evaluate the reunification process. As we have analysed newspapers of different locations, ranges, types, and editorial lines, we can see whether newspapers cover German reunification differently. Our analysis shows that the amount of coverage of reunification quickly decreases, and only a few articles are published prominently. The press reports on more differences between East and West Germany than similarities; about one third of the articles mentions problems and conflicts, although they become less important over time. All in all, positive evaluations of German reunification outweigh negative judgments and increase over time. We see evidence that the placement, content, and tone of coverage highly depends on the type, editorial line, range, and location of the newspapers.