Optimum recording conditions - A multimedia-oriented state capital
The notion of media as a means of transporting through images, sound and the written word goes back a long way in Erfurt. Many handwritten books passing down knowledge and experiences emerged in the city of monasteries as early as medieval times. The founding of Erfurt University in 1392, the Gutenberg letterpress printing which began in Erfurt in 1473 with movable-type letters, and Thuringia’s first paper mill which started production in 1497 all helped Erfurt have the biggest collection of books out of any city in central Germany in the late Middle Ages.
Even today, Erfurt has a large number of printing presses, such as the state-of-the-art TA Druckhaus. The company owned by the Erfurt-based Zeitungsgruppe Thüringen, the largest regional newspaper group in eastern Germany, produces regional daily newspapers, advertisers and official gazettes here.
Particularly in recent years, the city’s media facilities have expanded to include digital image and sound productions. Today, radio and TV reports, as well as sporting, cultural and entertainment programmes are all produced here. In 1997, the launch of KiKa, the children’s channel of ARD and ZDF based at the MDR-Landesfunkhaus Thüringen marked the start of Erfurt’s evolution to become a city for children’s media. Just nearby is the KinderMedienZentrum (Children’s Media Centre) with state-of-the-art studio and production equipment.
Many media companies have since become based in Erfurt and predominantly produce learning and entertainment formats for children and young adults. These range from movies, to TV and cartoon series, TV shows and magazine articles, to children’s websites and multimedia services. The best-known Erfurt production is probably the "Schloss Einstein” series for youngsters.
The companies have access to competent staff in the region itself. Apart from 13 vocational media courses at 20 Thuringian training facilities, the universities in Erfurt, Weimar, Jena and Ilmenau also offer media-related courses, which teach technical content, cultural and media theories, communications and economics, as well as media design and impact. The children’s media department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) additionally presents the latest findings in this area.
The media hub that is Erfurt is similarly characterised by the Goldener Spatz children’s media festival, the Thuringia Media Symposium, the Academy for Children’s Media and last but not least, the Erfurt Netcode, which rates the suitability of websites for children, thereby helping to ensure the quality of children’s media.
In the inner city, well-known characters such as Mouse and Elephant, Sandman, "Tigerente” and "Bernd das Brot" (Bernd the Bread Loaf) further present Erfurt as a city of children’s media.