Süddeutsche Zeitung

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Süddeutsche Zeitung
The 20 May 2009 front page
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding [de]
EditorJudith Wittwer
Founded6 October 1945 (1945-10-06)
Political alignmentProgressive-liberalism[1][2] Centre-left[3][4][5]
HeadquartersMunich, Germany
Circulation320,159 (Print, 2020)
90,998 (Digital, 2020)[6]

The Süddeutsche Zeitung (pronounced [ˈzyːtˌdɔʏtʃə ˈtsaɪtʊŋ]; lit.'South German Newspaper'), published in Munich, Bavaria,[7] is one of the largest daily newspapers in Germany. The tone of SZ is mainly described as centre-left,[2][4] liberal,[8] social-liberal,[9] progressive-liberal,[2] and social-democrat.[10]


20th century[edit]

On 6 October 1945,[11][12] 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, reportedly printed from the same presses that had printed Mein Kampf.[13]

21st century[edit]

Declines in advertising in the early 2000s was so severe that the paper was on the brink of bankruptcy in October 2002. The Süddeutsche survived through a 150 million euro investment by a new shareholder, a regional newspaper chain called Südwestdeutsche Medien. Over a period of three years, the newspaper underwent a reduction in its staff, from 425 to 307, the closing of a regional edition in Düsseldorf, and the scrapping of a section devoted to news from Berlin.[14]

In spring 2004, SZ launched the Süddeutsche Bibliothek. Each week, one of 50 famous novels of the 20th century was made available in hardcover at certain newsstands and in book shops. Later a series of 50 influential movies on DVD followed. In late 2004 the daily also launched a popular science magazine, SZ Wissen.[15] In late 2005 a series of children's books continued this branch of special editions.

In early 2015, the newspaper received a 2.6-terabyte data set from an anonymous source. The dataset contained confidential information of a law firm offering the management of offshore companies. The newspaper in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reviewed the data from the Panama Papers for over a year before publishing stories from it on 3 April 2016.[16]

In the late 2017, the newspaper released snippets from a 1.4-terabyte data set to be known as the "Paradise Papers" containing about 13.4 million documents, throwing light on the financial offshore jurisdictions, whose workings are unveiled, including Bermuda, the HQ of the main company involved, Appleby, corporate services provider Estera, corporate registries in Caribbean and Singapore-based international trust and corporate services provider, Asiaciti Trust. It contains the names of more than 120,000 people and companies.[17] The newspaper called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to oversee the investigation. BBC Panorama and The Guardian were among the nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers. The leaked data covers seven decades, from 1950 to 2016.[18]

In May 2018, the German Press Council opened an inquiry to determine whether a Süddeutsche Zeitung cartoon which depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was anti-Semitic; readers had complained that the image "reminded them of the anti-Semitic language of Nazi times". Süddeutsche Zeitung ended its decades-long collaboration with the cartoonist and apologized to readers, calling the cartoon a mistake.[19]


In German politics, the term liberalism is different from that in the United States, and like other European regions, it is a concept that encompasses both centre-right and centre-left. Traditionally, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung represents the view of right-wing liberals, while Süddeutsche Zeitung represents the view of left-wing liberals.[20][21][22]

The paper, often abbreviated SZ, is read throughout Germany by 1.1 million readers daily and boasts a relatively high circulation abroad. The editorial stance of the newspaper is progressive-liberal and generally of a centre-left orientation,[3][5] leading some to joke that the SZ is the only meaningful opposition in the state of Bavaria, which has been governed by the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria almost continuously since 1949. In the 2013 elections the paper was among the supporters of the SPD.[23]

SZ is published in Nordisch format.[24]


During the third quarter of 1992 SZ had a circulation of 397,000 copies.[7] The 1993 circulation of the paper was 304,499 copies.[25] In 1995–96 it had a circulation of 407,000 copies.[26]

Its 2001 circulation was 436,000 copies and it was one of the top 100 European newspapers.[24] In 2003 SZ had a circulation of 433,000 copies.[27] In the fourth quarter of 2004, it sold an average of 441,955 copies.[28] The circulation was 429,345 copies in the first quarter of 2006.[29] During the first quarter of 2012 it had a circulation of 432,000 copies.[11]

Notable writers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ News Der Spiegel.
  2. ^ a b c Jordana Silverstein, Rachel Stevens, ed. (2021). Refugee Journeys: Histories of Resettlement, Representation and Resistance. ANU Press. p. 91. ISBN 9781760464196.
  3. ^ a b "The Substance of What S&P Is Saying Is Quite Right". Spiegel Online. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b Rough Guides, ed. (2017). The Rough Guide to Berlin. Rough Guides UK. ISBN 9780241307632. Of the national dailies, the two bestsellers are the centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung ( sueddeutsche.de) and the centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ( faz.net), along with the liberal Berlin-based Tagesspiegel ( tagesspiegel.de) ...
  5. ^ a b Ruud Koopmans; Barbara Pfetsch (May 2007). "Towards a Europeanised Public Sphere? Comparing Political Actors and the Media in Germany" (PDF). Oslo: Centre for European Studies. Archived from the original (Report) on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Suddeutsche Zeitung media kit 2015" (PDF). October 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b Georg Hellack (1992). "Press, Radio and Television in the Federal Republic of Germany" (Report). Inter Nationes. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  8. ^ Maximilian Conrad, ed. (2014). Europeans and the Public Sphere: Communication without Community?. Columbia University Press. p. 243. ISBN 9783838266855. Yet the critique of the Polish government is every bit as scathing in the liberal Süddeutsche Zeitung, whose EU correspondent Cornelia Bolesch writes that "the Polish government is parading the dead," and that the latter's "reference to ...
  9. ^ Andrea Grisold, Paschal Preston, ed. (2020). Economic Inequality and News Media: Discourse, Power, and Redistribution. Oxford University Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780190053918. ... which emphasize the problematic aspects of inequality are, as expected, markedly higher in all centre- left/ social- liberal newspapers across all countries (The Guardian, Irish Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Standard).
  10. ^ Faustino Oncina Coves (2011). Javier Fernández Sebastián (ed.). Political concepts and time: New Approaches to conceptual History. Ed. Universidad de Cantabria. p. 306. ISBN 9788481028720. He was in demand as a contributor and interlocutor with daily and weekly publications of all colours (the left-wing and alternative Tageszeitung and Libération, the social democrat Süddeutsche Zeitung, the progressive Die Zeit, ...
  11. ^ a b "Media Landscape Media Claims" (PDF). European Social Survey. May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  12. ^ Sigurd Hess (2009). "German Intelligence Organizations and the Media". Journal of Intelligence History. 9 (1–2): 75–87. doi:10.1080/16161262.2009.10555166. S2CID 154195583.
  13. ^ Zerofsky, Elisabeth (11 November 2017). "How a German Newspaper Became the Go-To Place for Leaks Like the Paradise Papers". The New Yorker. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  14. ^ Mark Landler (19 January 2004), MEDIA; Woes at Two Pillars of German Journalism New York Times.
  15. ^ "New trend in Germany: scientific magazines by Die Zeit and Süddeutsche Zeitung". Editors Weblog. 3 December 2004. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Panama Papers. The secrets of dirty money". April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Paradise Papers: Your guide to four years of offshore revelations Archived 7 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine".
  18. ^ "Paradise Papers: Everything you need to know about the leak Archived 9 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine".
  19. ^ Riham Alkousaa (May 18, 2018), German newspaper drops cartoonist after Netanyahu drawing, Reuters.
  20. ^ Greenberg, David (12 September 2019). "The danger of confusing liberals and leftists". Washington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  21. ^ Goldfarb, Michael (20 July 2010). "Liberal? Are we talking about the same thing?". BBC News. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  22. ^ Irene Preisinger (2002). Information zwischen Interpretation und Kritik: Das Berufsverständnis politischer Journalisten in Frankreich und Deutschland. Westdeutscher Verlag. pp. 122–123.
  23. ^ Juan P. Artero (February 2015). "Political Parallelism and Media Coalitions in Western Europe" (PDF). Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Archived from the original (Working paper) on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  24. ^ a b Adam Smith (15 November 2002). "Europe's Top Papers". www.campaignlive.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  25. ^ Peter Humphreys (1996). Mass Media and Media Policy in Western Europe. Manchester University Press. p. 82. ISBN 9780719031977. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  26. ^ Media Policy: Convergence, Concentration & Commerce. SAGE Publications. 24 September 1998. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4462-6524-6. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  27. ^ "World Press Trends" (PDF). World Association of Newspapers. Paris. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  28. ^ "The New York Times of Munich – Portrait of the Süddeutsche Zeitung". Goethe-Institut. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  29. ^ "European Publishing Monitor" (PDF). Turku School of Economics (Media Group). March 2007. Archived from the original (Report) on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp. 298–304

External links[edit]