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Major names characterise the well established publishing landscape in North Rhine-Westphalia. Traditional newspaper publishing houses like Funke, DuMont, Handelsblatt & Co. have since become diversified content enterprises with numerous digital services. Moreover, NRW is home to a quarter of all book publishers in Germany and also occupies a leading position for the bookshops. NRW can name Germany’s largest media concern and a real global player its own with Bertelsmann based in the East Westphalian town of Gütersloh. The Land of NRW has been supporting innovative journalism through the foundation "Stiftung Vielfalt und Partizipation" which operates under the auspices of the Media Authority of NRW.

Facts and figures

  • five of Germany‘s largest newspaper groups based in NRW: Funke Media Group, Handelsblatt Media Group, Ippen Group, Rheinische Post Media Group, DuMont Media Group
  • 38 daily newspapers with a circulation of more than 2.2 million copies
  • printed and digital content reach almost 13 million people
  • greatest concentration of publishers and highest turnover in Germany with 419 companies
  • around 758 bookshops in NRW
  • Bertelsmann Printing Group: Europe‘s largest network of printing plants
  • Bastei Lübbe: largest family concern in the German publishing world
  • book publishers in NRW generate 45 per cent of the sector‘s national turnover with approx. 3.8 billion euros
  • lit.Cologne, one of Europe’s largest literature festivals with 111,000 visitors in 2019
  • drupa: the world‘s largest trade fair for print and crossmedia solutions

More information:

Publishers in NRW

Johannes Werle
Chairman of the Board of Management, Rheinische Post Media Group
The strength of North Rhine-Westphalia lies in its incredibly exciting diversity. Our investmenr in Bonn's General-Anzeiger is a clear commitment to our NRW location. We will actively shape this in print and digital form.
Helge Malchow
Director of Publishing Kiepenheuer & Witsch
North Rhine-Westphalia – for German-language books that means an dense network of bookshops, a large number of festivals and readings, and a large number of institutions which are vital partners for book publishers: TV and radio stations, film producers, newspapers and magazines, and above all the new web media and producers.
Christian DuMont Schütte
Chairman of the media group DuMont Schauberg
NRW stands out because it is the place with the greatest diversity of newspapers among the large-area German states. 40 daily papers with a circulation of 2.2 million copies are published here.
Sabine Cramer
Managing Director Publishing DuMont Buchverlag
I know no other city where people have so much pleasure in talking with one another and at such length and where one can make contacts so quickly as in Cologne. Where could be a better place to produce books which are, above all, one thing - communication?
Hejo Emons
Founder and Publisher Emons Verlag
You'd think that the writers are in Berlin, the bestsellers are produced in Munich, and the hard publishing work is done in NRW. But Bastei-Lübbe can also produce bestsellers and it was, after all, from Cologne that the regional crime novel developed into fiction's most successful segment at the moment.
Andreas Schoo
Spokesman of the Management Funke Media Group
NRW and the Ruhr region, in particular, are both tradition and future for FUNKE: this is where our roots lie - and it is from here that we are driving the transformation of our company forward as well as that of the entire sector. NRW is and remains one of the leading and most innovative media regions in Germany.