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Italic printNew magazine "Politikum"
Beutelsbach is a municipality in Baden-Württemberg. And the "Beutelsbach Consensus", an educational principle from 1976, which commits political education to the principle of "controversy" instead of indoctrination. The newly founded quarterly magazine "Politikum" sees itself in this didactic tradition. As Johannes Varwick points out, co-editor and professor for international relations and European politics at Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg.
"We understand 'politics' as a controversy. And that is our central claim: We want to lead controversial debates. That means that even as editors we do not have a uniform view of the world, we want to allow different positions to be heard. And understand that we definitely as a "political issue." And not in the sense of a scandal, but of the breadth of the political debate, and cover it. We do not establish a consensus at the end or make a summary in the sense that we say: This is our house line. That is not our claim. We want to have controversy in the paper that stands for itself ".
A courageous, even defiant newspaper project to launch a periodical on the market in an otherwise dying rather than up-and-coming world of magazines that is dedicated to political education in A4 format with 96 pages, without any patchwork elements or online ambitions. It is based on social science research results. The main target group are teachers and students.
"But we consciously don't want to be an internet magazine, we are of the opinion that there is a market for things beyond the daily news to last a bit. And a lot is lost on the internet. There are of course a lot of good analyzes on the internet . We aspire to create something lasting here ".
The division is quite classic: focus, interview part, pros and cons, forum, dates and literature tips. And "Politikum" is published by the education-oriented "Wochenschauverlag". With 3,000 copies, the circulation is on par with comparable magazines.
"The paper is completely independent, independent of associations, parties, foundations. The publisher bears the risk, and the publisher is convinced that it can achieve success on the market with this product. There is no sponsor, no patron who can enables ".
The current, monothematic start booklet deals with the topic: German Europe or European Germany? For "politics" in these days of the Greece debacle, this is one of the central questions about the future of the continent in question.
"That is the spectrum: It starts with the statement of the former Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski, who said: Today I fear German power less than German inaction up to positions that say: Germany has become an unpopular hegemon in the European Union. You will find both positions on the sheet. And we attached great importance to the international perspective having a say. "
And in terms of domestic politics, the paper would like to put the "Germany model of democracy" to the test in one of the next issues, for example:
"... whether we need more direct democracy, whether it can remain so that the Federal Constitutional Court in principle sets the tone of politics or whether we need a return of politics on these issues, whether the party-political constellation as it emerged in post-war Germany has, it is permanent whether parties can still create identification, whether the political system holds together to a certain extent ".
At first glance, "Politikum" is a professor's paper with an academic advisory board made up of political scientists and social scientists from five German universities. Johannes Varwick is not tormented by doubts about only serving the elite discourse:
"Our benchmark is that we are legible, but at the same time scientifically founded. That is our claim: digestibility and depth at the same time".
A little more work can be done on "digestibility". The individual contributions are still too broad. And graphics are certainly not a suitable stylistic device for the desired more colorful design. It seems reasonable to doubt whether such print media will still be able to hold their own against online trends.
"We are convinced that print has a future. We believe in print. This applies to the printed book as well as to printed magazines. And we hope that the publisher and we will have staying power. And of course we need subscribers, but we do have to and want to grow, that means: we have to be successful in the market ".
Encourage yourself, that's the motto of the highly ambitious editorial team of "Politikum". But Beutelsbach is still more of a discursive idyll than a publishing marketplace.
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