DER SPIEGEL first hit newsstands on January 4, 1947. Modelled on British and U.S. news magazines, the weekly’s release was initiated and sponsored by the British occupational administration. The magazine set out to bring objective news reports to people in post-war Germany. Rudolf Augstein, publisher and first editor-in-chief, gradually moulded a news magazine that is synonymous with independent reporting. However, this principle has repeatedly led to conflicts and monikers such as “Schmierblatt” (Konrad Adenauer) or “Scheißblatt – shit paper” (Willy Brandt). In 1952, the publishing house relocated from Hanover to Hamburg.
After several moves, SPIEGEL Group has been based at Ericusspitze 1 in Hamburg’s HafenCity since 2011. In January 1969, the publishing company and newsroom staff moved out of the brick building in Speersort into a towering glass building in Ost-West-Str./Brandstwiete. The magazine’s investigative reporting style has led to many scoops and uncovered all kind of affairs and scandals often with far-reaching political repercussions. Now, 70 years, 3,650 editions later and after 378,000 articles penned by around 2,000 editors overseen by 27 editors-in-chief, SPIEGEL faces new challenges. Ongoing digitalisation is leading to upheavals in publishing, structural changes in media and has put a burden on financing journalism that requires lengthy and extensive input.
Over 13 million readers
Thomas Hass, Manager of SPIEGEL, said: “Together, we wish to boost the SPIEGEL Group as the home of investigative, political journalism and to turn it into an innovative, modern company at the same time,” adding, “We are investing in several new products and are excellently positioned as a multimedia company. Never before, has SPIEGEL’s journalism reached as many readers as it does today. Week by week, more than 13 million people opt for our content – on paper, on the internet, iPADs and smartphones.”
Investments in future
In the 21st century, investigative reporting require fars more co-operation and on an international scale. To this end, SPIEGEL and editorial teams across eight European countries have set up the “European Investigative Collaborations” (EIC). This network of journalists advocates and facilitates cross-border, investigative collaboration and pools access to confidential information and sources. Klaus Brinkbäumer, Editor-in-Chief of SPIEGEL, explained: “This and many other measures are investments in the future so that SPIEGEL can push ahead with awareness projects got off the ground by Rudolf Augustein.”