15. December 2022
Ulrich Krökel

A matter of the heart

Deutschlandfunk is a product of the Cold War. The station was supposed to send its “ether waves”, which Federal President Heinrich Lübke was still talking about when it was founded in 1962, over the wall and barbed wire. The first target area was the GDR. But DLF also had a European program right from the start, and I can well remember listening to the station in Poland in the late 1990s over the dull, murmuring long wave. Something like that naturally welds people together emotionally, and that’s why I’m happy to admit that I’ve been part of the (much too small) DLF fan club for a quarter of a century. Yes, it is an affair of the heart.

But even if I step back a few steps to gain some distance, it remains the same: For me, DLF’s European reporting is by far the best offer of its kind in the German-speaking world. And this does not only apply to the current information, analyzes and comments. Above all, the two regularly scheduled programs “Europe Today” and “Faces of Europe” open up panoramic views of the continent from Monday to Saturday with their interviews, features and reports that are hard to find anywhere else. It almost goes without saying that the DLF does not stop at the borders of the EU, but also looks at the Western Balkans, the post-Soviet region or Switzerland and Norway. So the British stayed with us even after Brexit.

In the digital age, DLF’s entire range of European offerings can of course be accessed at any time on the website or via a media library app to listen to and usually also read later, most easily as a podcast subscription or RSS feed. The long wave, on the other hand, has been switched off for a few years, which I personally regret very much, because the noise made the room a sensual experience. But I console myself with the great content, for which I have to thank the great correspondents of the DLF.

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