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I am specifically thinking of an analogue to NPR in the USA, whose stations generally broadcast a wide variety of show formats (news, interviews, talk radio, & entertainment) covering range of newsworthy and cultural topics.

I have done a little bit of research and am somewhat familiar with the landscape--ARD, Deutschlandradio, and Deutsche Welle. But as someone still at the "novice" stage I'm curious to get the opinion of those who are fluent and familiar enough to do a comparison.

(I will be moving to München in the near future and need to seriously brush up on my German. Since I listen to NPR for a good portion of each day, it made sense to find a substitute that I could study from while remaining up to date with cultural events and world affairs.)

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Nominated for reopening, see discussion on meta meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/113/… @maaku Please note that the question can be edited while closed, so you could make it more appealing to potential reopeners. –  Phira May 30 '11 at 8:14
    
@thei, thank you I didn't know that. –  maaku Jun 1 '11 at 23:17
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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Deutschlandradio / Deutschlandfunk has a wide range of formats and is a very good way to get news about current events and also culture programm.

Apart from that, ARD or rather "das Erste" has a wide range of TV shows, which cover interviews, entertainment and news and is watched by many people in germany. The "Tagesschau" at 8 p.m. is the most watched news show in germany.

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Deutschlandradio et al does appear to be the closest thing to the general NPR experience I can find. I'm still exploring the various shows they have available on their website (slow going with my limited German). I'm not much on TV, but I'll be sure to give Tagesschau a look. Thanks! –  maaku May 26 '11 at 15:51
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I think Deutsche Welle: http://www.dw-world.de/ would be a good choice.

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster that produces television, radio and online content in 30 languages. It provides a European perspective to its global audience and promotes intercultural dialogue.

According to its statutory mission, Deutsche Welle will “promote understanding of Germany as an independent nation with its roots in European culture and as a liberal, democratic, constitutional state based on the rule of law.”

There's a dedicated Learning German section.

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Deutsche Welle also has a slowly-read newscast with transcription every day. –  Tim N May 25 '11 at 6:12
    
@Tim, thanks I didn't know about their slowly-read newscast. I'm going to start using that! –  maaku May 26 '11 at 15:46
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Daily news only, but very well done imho is the Tagesschau App for Android devices.

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I can recommend SDR 1 "Das Herz des Südens", now SWR1, an analogue to NPR, that I listened to when I worked in Heidelberg. Besides the Staumeldungen (for example, "München richtung Nürnberg, 100 kilometer") one of the favorite programmes were Bücherbar on Sunday evenings.

As far as I know most of the content is available as streaming and podcasts.

List of SWR1 podcasts (RSS feeds).

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