Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Frankfurter Allgemeine logo.svg
Frankfurter Allgemeine front page.jpg
The 17 September 2010 front page of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Type Daily newspaper
Format Nordisch
Owner(s) Fazit-Stiftung
Editor Werner D'Inka
Berthold Kohler
Günther Nonnenmacher
Holger Steltzner
Founded 1 November 1949
Political alignment centre right[1] liberal-conservative[2]
Headquarters Frankfurt

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (English literally Frankfurt General Newspaper), short F.A.Z., also known as the FAZ, is a centre right[1] liberal-conservative[2] German newspaper, founded in 1949. It is published daily in Frankfurt am Main. The Sunday edition is the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (F.A.S.).

F.A.Z. has a circulation of 382,000 (as of January 2013).[3] The 2007 circulation of the daily was 382,499 copies.[4]

It has the legal form of a GmbH; the independent FAZIT-Stiftung (FAZIT Foundation) is its majority shareholder (93.7%).[5] The F.A.Z. runs its own correspondent network. Its editorial policy is not determined by a single editor, but cooperatively by five editors. It is the German newspaper with the widest circulation abroad, with its editors claiming to deliver the newspaper to 148 countries every day.


Editorial department building of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The first edition of the F.A.Z. appeared on 1 November 1949; its founding editor was Erich Welter (de). Some editors had worked for the moderate Frankfurter Zeitung, which was banned in 1943. However, in their first number, the F.A.Z. editorial did expressively refute the impression to be this paper's successor or to continue their legacy:

  • „Aus der Tatsache, daß einige unserer Mitarbeiter früher der Redaktion der ‚Frankfurter Zeitung‘ angehört haben, ist vielfach geschlossen worden, hier werde der Versuch gemacht, die Nachfolgeschaft dieses Blattes anzutreten. Eine solche Annahme verkennt unsere Absichten. Wie jeder, so haben auch wir die hohen Qualitäten dieses Blattes bewundert; … Aber der Respekt vor einer hervorragenden Leistung bedeutet noch nicht den Wunsch, sie zu kopieren.“ (Rüdiger Dohrendorf: Zum publizistischen Profil der „Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung“. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3-631-43179-1, p. 9)

Until 30 September 1950, the F.A.Z. was printed in Mainz.

Traditionally, many of the headlines in the F.A.Z. were styled in orthodox blackletter format and no photographs appeared on the title page. Some of the rare exceptions were a picture of the celebrating people in front of the Reichstag in Berlin on the German Unity Day on 4 October 1990, and the two pictures in the edition of 12 September 2001 showing the collapsing World Trade Center and the American president George W. Bush.

In the early 2000s, F.A.Z. expanded aggressively, with customized sections for Berlin and Munich.[6] An eight-page six-day-a-week English-language edition distributed as an insert in The International Herald Tribune, which is owned by The New York Times Company; the articles were selected and translated from the same day's edition of the parent newspaper by the F.A.Z. staff in Frankfurt.[7] However, F.A.Z. group, suffered a loss of 60.6 million euros in 2002. By 2004, the customized sections were later scrapped. The English edition shrank to a tabloid published once a week.[8]

On 5 October 2007, the F.A.Z. altered their traditional layout to include color photographs on the front page and exclude blackletter typeface outside the nameplate. Due to its traditionally sober layout, the introduction of colour photographs in the F.A.Z. was controversially discussed by the readers, became the subject of a 2009 comedy film, and was still in memory three years later.[9]

Currently, the F.A.Z. is produced electronically using the Networked Interactive Content Access (NICA) and Hermes. For its characteristic comment headings, a digital Fraktur font was ordered. The Fraktur has since been abandoned, however, with the above-mentioned change of layout.

After having introduced on 1 August 1999 the new spelling prescribed by the German spelling reform, the F.A.Z. returned exactly one year later to the old spelling, declaring that their experience had shown that the reform was ambiguous and partly nonsensical.[citation needed] After several changes had been made to the new spelling, F.A.Z. accepted it and started using it (in a custom version) on 1 January 2007.[10]

The 1993 circulation of the paper was 391,013 copies.[11]


The F.A.Z. is one of several high-profile national newspapers in Germany (along with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Rundschau and die Tageszeitung) and among these has the second largest circulation nationwide. It maintains the largest number of foreign correspondents of any European newspaper (53 as of 2002).[12]

The F.A.Z. promotes an image of making its readers think. The truth is stated to be sacred to the F.A.Z., so care is taken to clearly label news reports and comments as such. Its political orientation is centre right[1] and liberal-conservative,[2] occasionally providing a forum to commentators with different opinions. In particular, the Feuilleton and some sections of the Sunday edition cannot be said to be specifically conservative or liberal at all[citation needed].

Controversies and bans[edit]

In December 1999, future German Chancellor Angela Merkel published a sensational article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, lamenting the ‘‘tragedy’’ that had befallen the party, blaming incumbent Chancellor Helmut Kohl and urging a new course.[13]

In 2006, the F.A.Z. was banned in Egypt for publishing articles which were deemed as "insulting Islam".[14] The paper was again banned in Egypt in February 2008 due to the publication of Prophet Mohammad's cartoons.[15] In November 2012, it provoked strong criticism in Spain because of its stance against Spanish immigration to Germany during the economic crisis.[16]

Famous contributors[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ruud Koopmans; Barbara Pfetsch (May 2007). "Towards a Europeanised Public Sphere? Comparing Political Actors and the Media in Germany" (Report). Oslo: Centre for European Studies. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Alter Wein in neuen Schläuchen (in German). Deutschlandradio, 16 October 2007
  3. ^ "Profile. FAZ". Presseurop. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Science News ? Overview of Science Reporting in the EU". EU. 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Annual report of FAZIT Foundation at
  6. ^ Mark Landler (January 19, 2004), MEDIA; Woes at Two Pillars of German Journalism New York Times.
  7. ^ FAZ English Edition Debuts With the IHT Int. Her. Trib., April 3, 2000.
  8. ^ Mark Landler (January 19, 2004), MEDIA; Woes at Two Pillars of German Journalism New York Times.
  9. ^ Frankfurter frakturen und sie dreht sich doch Sued Deutsche
  10. ^ Dagmar Giersberg, Chronicle of a Long Debate: The Spelling Reform (December 2007), Goethe-Institut; Retrieved 29 September 2011
  11. ^ Peter Humphreys (1996). Mass Media and Media Policy in Western Europe. Manchester University Press. p. 82. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Die geschrumpfte Welt auf Zeitungspapier. In: FAZ, 7 March 2002.[dead link]
  13. ^ Alison Smale (October 30, 2012), The Making of Angela Merkel New York Times.
  14. ^ "The impact of blasphemy laws on human Rights" (Policy Brief). Freedom House. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Der Spiegel issue on Islam banned in Egypt". France24. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Aumenta el rechazo y temor a la 'avalancha' de españoles en Alemania". El Mundo. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 

External links[edit]