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The May 20, 2009 front page of Süddeutsche Zeitung
|Owner||Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding|
|Founded||6 October 1945|
|Political alignment||centre-left, Progressive liberalism |
The title, often abbreviated SZ, literally translates as "South German Newspaper". It is read throughout Germany by 1.1 million readers daily and boasts a relatively high circulation abroad. The editorial stance of the newspaper is liberal and generally of centre-left, leading some to joke that the SZ is the only opposition in the state of Bavaria, which has been governed by the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria almost continuously since 1949.
The national edition features four sections: Politics, Culture, Economy and Sports. Editions sold in Munich and its surrounding counties include a local news insert.
Some of Germany's best known journalists either work for the SZ or spent considerable parts of their careers working for the paper. Heribert Prantl, head of the national desk, is a lawyer by education, a former public prosecutor, and the most cited author of editorial commentaries in German press. Hans Leyendecker is one of Germany's best known investigative journalists. Leyendecker formerly worked for the magazine Der Spiegel, unveiling various political and economic scandals, such as the widespread illegal party financing during the 1980s, and that of the CDU in 1999. He also unveiled the smuggling of Russian plutonium into Germany with the help of the foreign intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst in 1994, bribery at arms deals, the German Visa Affair 2005 and corruption of the staff council at Volkswagen. Another well-known journalist working for the SZ is Rudolph Chimelli, a political reporter who has been working for the paper since January 1, 1957.
Martin Süßkind also formerly worked with the SZ and eventually became the editor of the Berliner Zeitung. Giovanni di Lorenzo, who was responsible for the SZ's full page documentary Seite 3 (Page 3) from 1994 to 1998, and who was later editor-in-chief of the Tagesspiegel, also worked for the paper. He is now editor-in-chief of the weekly German newspaper Die Zeit.
The SZ is well known for its daily frontpage column Streiflicht (searchlight) of 72 lines, which is published anonymously.
On October 6, 1945, five months after the end of World War II in Germany, the SZ was the first newspaper to receive a license from the U.S. military administration of Bavaria. The first issue was published the same evening. The first article begins with:
- For the first time since the collapse of the brown rule of terror, a newspaper run by Germans is published in Munich. It is limited by the political necessities of our days, but it is not bound by censorship, nor gagged by constraints of conscience.
The front page of the first issue can be read here (PDF).
In spring 2004, SZ launched the Süddeutsche Bibliothek. Each week, one out of 50 famous novels of the 20th century was made available in hardcover for € 4.90 (approx. $6) at certain newsstands and in book shops. Later a series of 50 influential movies on DVD followed. In late 2005 a series of children's books continued this branch of special editions.
The circulation is 442,000, reaching over 1.1 million readers daily, making SZ the largest broadsheet daily published in German. Forty correspondents report from Germany and abroad.
- SZ Magazin (Friday), a magazine-style supplement
- Wochenende (Saturday), featuring longer articles and short stories for the weekend
- The New York Times (Friday), selected articles (English language).
- The TV programme (Tuesday) and an event guide (Thursday) are only included in the Bavarian edition.
Online services 
The online content Süddeutsche.de, formerly SZonNe, is created and maintained by 25 journalists. Circa 140 million clicks are received on Süddeutsche.de pages. Sued-café is the virtual lounge for SZ readers.
See also 
- SPIEGEL ONLINE, Staff. "The Substance of What S&P Is Saying Is Quite Right". SPIEGELnet GmbH. SPIEGELnet GmbH. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- (German) Süddeutsche Zeitung online edition