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The Decline Of German 'Quality Journalism': Der Spiegel Lays Off 150 People

Der Spiegel has made an announcement that some 20% of their employees will have to be laid off.

02.12.2015. / 12:19:02


The once popular and proud magazine that calls itself 'Sturmgeschütz der Demokratie' (assault gun of democracy) has been struggling for some time now. The official statement for this drastic step reads as follows:

'...For the future of quality journalism it is important not only to print articles that have been comprehensively researched and well written but also to sell them digitally and not to give them away for free...'

 It seems the responsible ones at Der Spiegel just haven't understood what is happening to them, or worse, they have understood but try to fight it. While all media business that have their roots in print are stuggling with the shift to online due to the digitalization, for Der Spiegel it is worse than that. They are not only struggling with the shift from offline to online but they have lost credibility over the last couple of years. The loss of credibility accelerated during the Ukraine conflict. Their coverage of the conflict and of Russia in general was the last straw for so many of their readership. The obvious manipulations and blatant lies drove away their readership. Headlines like 'Stoppt Putin Jetzt' (Stop Putin Now) or 'Putin Greift An' (Putin attacks) were just too obvious attempts to manipulate public opinion in Germany.

Some of the lies of their Moscow correspondent Benjamin Bidder I have covered on Russia Insider and Europe-insider. 

So their current situation is just a result of their dishonest and manipulative journalism. Therefore their official statement reads rather like satire then a serious assessment of their current situation.

Personally I am very sad about the developments at Der Spiegel. I started reading Der Spiegel at the age of sixteen and I was very proud to be part of the 'Sturmgeschütz der Demokratie' community. So I am also one of the readers Der Spiegel has lost.


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