WDR honours 180 years of Wochenblatt für Landwirtschaft und Landleben

„Lokalzeit“ (WDR television) and „Westblick“ (WDR 5) present one of the oldest magazines in Germany

„The Wochenblatt für Landwirtschaft und Landleben is an institution on farms. I've never heard a farmer say that they don't read the Wochenblatt,“ says Theresa Ungru, a farmer from Hörstel in the Steinfurt district, describing the importance of the magazine on WDR television's „Lokalzeit“ programme. According to the article by WDR journalist Matthias Schröder, the weekly newspaper has been a trusted companion for farmers in Westphalia-Lippe for 180 years. And it is also regularly on the desks of WDR journalists. WDR editor Michaela Padberg confirms this in the introduction to the Lokalzeit report: „The Wochenblatt has been compulsory reading for me since I started working at WDR because it provides me with so many exciting topics.“

But that's not all: the weekly newspaper is also a mirror for developments throughout the country, says Schröder, describing the importance of the paper. This is illustrated by the reporting on long-forgotten co-operative wash houses, communal showers and freezers, which could be found in many villages after the war. The marriage announcements with details of the size of the farm are also typical of the time. „Westphalian son, 1.86 cm tall, Catholic, 50 ha and inn wishes to meet a lovely girl,“ says Wochenblatt editor Gisbert Strotdrees, quoting an early classic advert in the Wochenblatt that no longer exists.

The magazine „Westblick“ on WDR 5 also takes a detailed look at the development of one of the oldest magazines in our country. „Since 1844, the Wochenblatt has been providing its readers with information on how they can develop their agricultural business, categorising agricultural policy issues for farmers and presenting the beautiful sides of rural life when it comes to nature, gardening, food and health,“ says editor-in-chief Patrick Liste, describing the range of reporting in WDR 5's „Westblick“ magazine. On around 80 pages, supplemented by digital formats such as newsletters and podcasts, the Wochenblatt covers the entire spectrum of agriculture and rural life for its almost 60,000 readers. „Over the past 180 years, the focus of reporting has naturally changed. In the times of scarcity, the main focus was on food security, then the efficiency of food production took centre stage. In recent years, the focus has increasingly been on environmental, nature and climate protection as well as animal welfare. In the process, the core issue - the production of food from which farmers have to make a living - has been somewhat lost from view. Farmers are now drawing attention to this in their protests. And the Wochenblatt is analysing these issues and making them understandable for non-farmers too. In this way, we want to build bridges and present agriculture as a sustainable industry,“ says Liste, explaining the editorial team's mission.

The Wochenblatt für Landwirtschaft und Landleben is now in its 181st year and is published by Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster. This makes it by far the oldest and most consistent product of the group of companies, which publishes more than 50 media and services, primarily in Germany, Austria and Poland.

You can find the original contributions in the WDR media centre and the following links:

Lokalzeit Münsterland | 22.03.2024 | ARD Mediathek (from minute 16)

WDR 5 | 19.03.2024 | Westblick Podcast (from minute 23)