Der Spiegel is a liberal magazine. It has long, detailed articles. It has a circulation of more than one million per week. It now has an on-line version, Spiegel Online.
The first edition of the Spiegel magazine was published in Hanover on 4 January 1947. Later it was published in Hamburg. Rudolf Augstein was the publisher from the very first issue until his death in 2002.
There was an affair which became known as the "Spiegel affair" in the early 1960s, when Defense Secretary Franz-Josef Strauß arrested writers and publishers of the Spiegel, because he was angry about a critical report on the Germany army (the Bundeswehr).
Many political affairs in Germany were first made known by Der Spiegel, e.g. the Flick affair. "The magazine is renowned for its aggressive, vigorous, and well-written exposes of government malpractice and scandals".