In the United States, the USA Today newspaper changed the way many people got their news. It’s a colorful, easier-to-read alternative to many black-and-white newspapers.
Munich newspapers, and German newspapers in general, have moved this colorful, artistic approach much further, making the newspaper an artistic event. Just holding one of these German newspapers makes you feel better, and smarter. More hip, even. And they’re a great way to improve your German language skills.
Some great examples of newspapers available in Munich:
Die Zeit (translation: The Times) is a huge newspaper in both size and readership. It may not even fit in your briefcase without folding it up. Die Zeit is known to be more high-brow than other German newspapers – sort of a “New Yorker” without the cartoons. The typical edition contains stunning photography, and long essays from experts or authors on a variety of subjects. Die Zeit has several sections, including Wissen (know), Feuilleton (serial), Reisen (travel), and Chancen (odds). The online publication is visually stunning as well: www.zeit.de.
Suddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper) is another large format newspaper, again with great photography and color. Known as “SZ” for short, it is the largest German national newspaper, and is published in Munich. SZ is less high-brow than Die Zeit, and spends more time on current events, including a dedicated sports section. The front-page section known as Streiflicht (searchlight) – an anonymously published column – is popular with many readers. www.Seuddeutsche.de.
Munchner Merkur (Munich Mercury) is another Munich daily publication, but will fit in your briefcase more easily than the SZ. It will also fit in your head more easily, with articles on par with USA Today in terms of length. Readership is smaller, as the Merkur focuses on local events. www.merkur-online.de.
Frankfurter Allgemeine (Frankfurt General) is available throughout Munich. You can find it outside of Germany as well, as the Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ for short) has the highest worldwide circulation of any German newspaper. The FAZ provides competition for Die Zeit in terms of highbrow content and huge format. After a big switch in 2007, the FAZ now includes color visuals and photographs to help it compete with Die Zeit and SZ as well. Articles are long, even after adopting the German Spelling Reform in 2007 to help simplify the beautiful but sometimes longwinded German language. The online version of FAZ is among the best: www.faz.net.
Abendzeitung (Evening Newspaper) provides a downshift from high-brow to something closer to a tabloid. The paper is really somewhere in between. It seems the founder of the Abendzeitung couldn’t make up his mind on the tabloid format, as he went on to help found the SZ. Readership is strong, although declining in recent years. The Abendzeitung can sometimes be found alongside full-blown German tabloids such as the Bild. www.abendzeitung.de.