A war of words— Germany


A magazine for the German armed forces, ‘Y’ holds the line when it comes to maintaining its independence while publishing a product that meets the remit of a military publication. With a staff of civilians and soldiers, it’s a lively setting.

defence, journalism, magazine, military, reporting, war

“What I like about working here,” says Claire Hughes, managing editor of the German Bundeswehr’s magazine Y, “is that when I say what needs to be done, it gets done. It’s not that I’m standing here giving commands, but I can rely on my requests being carried out.”

Officially, Y (the name stands for the letter on military vehicles’ number plates) is a medium for troop information, representing the Ministry of Defence. But internally, staff describe it as more of a “lifestyle magazine for soldiers”. They also see it as a military rival to the big…

Published: monthly since 2001; relaunched in 2009.
Print run: roughly 50,000, one for every 10 personnel in Germany and every five soldiers abroad.
Pages: around 100.
Advertising: mainly for further education and post-military jobs, but the magazine runs background checks on all advertisers to ensure their trustworthiness. An ad for the computer game Blitzkrieg was banned.
Top stories: foreign deployment, the Bundeswehr’s internal changes with the end of universal conscription, and unusual sports such as parkour and geo-caching.
Editorial staff: 15, seven of them military. A smaller number of KircherBurkhardt staff do art direction, graphics, project management and sub-editing.


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