The mirror (online)

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The mirror
description News portal
languages German , English
owner The Spiegel GmbH & Co. KG
Published October 25, 1994

Der Spiegel is a German news portal . It was founded on October 25, 1994 by the news magazine Der Spiegel as an editorially independent web service with the name Spiegel Online ( SPON for short ) and renamed Der Spiegel on January 8, 2020 , after the editorial team with that of the news magazine on September 1, 2019 had been merged. It is operated by a subsidiary of Spiegel Verlag , which is why it is still legally and economically separate from the news magazine. It is one of the five news portals with the greatest reach in Germany.

Economic basics

The operating company of the news portal is Der Spiegel GmbH & Co. KG , which operated as Spiegel Online GmbH until August 2018 and as Spiegel Online GmbH & Co. KG until August 2019 . At the Der Spiegel GmbH & Co. KG which is mirror-Verlag Rudolf Augstein GmbH & Co. KG owns 99.99 percent and the mirror Investment Management GmbH with 0.01 percent.

Spiegel Online made a profit of two million euros in 2006 with a turnover of 15 million euros. According to Zeit Online, advertising sales for 2011 amounted to around 30 million euros with a return of over 10%. For 2013, Horizont was expecting double-digit sales and earnings growth and sales of over 35 million euros. In 2016, over 80% of its revenue came from advertising and 20% from content sales.


According to the Online Research Association (AGOF), around 19 million users visited the online news portal Spiegel Online every month in January 2017 . At that time, the site achieved the third largest reach among online news portals in German-speaking countries, behind and Focus Online . In December 2019, Spiegel Online was still in second place among the news portals with the highest reach in Germany. According to the IVW figures for April 2020, Der Spiegel is in fifth place after, , and Focus Online.

Development of the number of visitors According to the IVW count, the number of visitors to the news portal Der Spiegel rose sharply until 2015, and growth has slowed since then. In January 2020, Der Spiegel recorded 237.1 million visits to the website, with an average of 3.22 pages .
2020 UniqueVisits SPIEGELonline.png

editorial staff

Until the merger of the editorial offices of the news magazine and news portal on September 1, 2019, Spiegel Online's editorial team consisted of 160 editors according to its own information. In addition to the headquarters in Hamburg , there was an office in the capital in Berlin with 16 editors. Foreign correspondents were represented in Brussels , Moscow , New York , Sydney , Washington and Vienna . In addition, editors of the printed mirror also wrote for the online offer and online editors for the print edition. The editorial team used the news agencies AFP , AP , Dow Jones , dpa , Reuters and sid .

From 1 December 2000, Mathias Müller von Blumencron editor of Spiegel Online , the 5 February 2008 together with Georg Mascolo editor of the mirror was. From 27 May 2008 led Wolfgang Buchner and Rüdiger Ditz , the editors of Spiegel Online together until Buchner on 1 July 2009 for dpa changed and Ditz became the sole editor. On February 21, 2011, Müller von Blumencron took over the management of all digital Spiegel offerings including Spiegel Online and Mascolo responsibility for the printed news magazine. On April 9, 2013, Mascolo and Müller were recalled by Blumencron "with immediate effect due to differing views on the strategic orientation". From September 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014, Wolfgang Büchner was editor-in-chief of Spiegel and Spiegel Online . On January 13, 2015 Florian Harms became editor-in-chief of Spiegel Online and Klaus Brinkbäumer became editor-in-chief of Spiegel and publisher of Spiegel Online . On December 6, 2016 Harms was replaced by Barbara Hans .

Sibylle Berg (since January 2011), Sascha Lobo (since January 2011), Jan Fleischhauer (January 2011 to June 2019), Jakob Augstein (January 2011 to October 2018), Georg Diez (January 2011 to September 2018), Steffi Kammerer wrote columns (January 2011 to May 2011), Wolfgang Münchau (November 2011 to January 2016), Silke Burmester (December 2011 to March 2014), Margarete Stokowski (since October 2015), Thomas Fricke (since April 2016), Christian Stöcker (since September 2016 ), Ferda Ataman (April 2018 to February 2020), Thomas Fischer (since August 2018), Stefan Kuzmany (November 2018 to February 2020), Samira El Ouassil (since February 2020) and Nikolaus Blome (since May 2020).


Logo until January 2020

The news portal went online on October 25, 1994 under the name Spiegel Online . This made Der Spiegel the world's first news magazine on the Internet. Time magazine followed a day later . However, the Internet address was only used a year later. Spiegel Online was previously available at or at The initial offer had little in common with the later versions. Initially, the website was populated with selected articles from the printed mirror . In 1995, articles specially written for the Internet offer appeared for the first time in the “Scanner” section. There has been up-to-date coverage since 1996 when the design of the website was redesigned again.

Since October 2004 offered Spiegel Online the mirror as a fee-based electronic newspaper on. In the same month a section with articles in English was launched. A video-on-demand offer has existed since spring 2006 . From October 2006 there was an independent satire editorial team, formerly under the direction of Martin Sonneborn , which filled the "Spam" section on Spiegel Online . The satire section was discontinued in August 2016.

In October 2007 the contemporary history portal was launched one day , which was continued as a regular department of Spiegel Online from March 2014 and was discontinued in January 2020 in favor of a new history department. From April 2008 to December 2017, the video service was broadcast on Spiegel Online as part of a cooperation with Kicker .

From April 2010 to February 2012 there was a cooperation with Legal Tribune Online , in which content from both sides was mutually integrated and Spiegel QC took over the advertising marketing of Legal Tribune Online. From January 2011 Spiegel Online cooperated with the media company Vice and broadcast their video reports.

On June 4, 2013 the website was redesigned. In the main column, the most important news from the current print edition were listed and the paid e-paper was linked. From June 27, 2016, individual articles by Spiegel and Spiegel Online were offered for sale under the Spiegel Plus brand on Spiegel Online, and on May 16, 2017, the digital evening newspaper Spiegel Daily, jointly published by Spiegel and Spiegel Online, was launched . On May 28, 2018, Spiegel Plus, Spiegel Daily and the digital edition of Spiegel were merged to form Spiegel +. The Spiegel Daily brand was then used for a daily newsletter , which was renamed Die Lage am Abend in January 2020.

In April 2019, Spiegel Online launched the Global Society project , in which reporters from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe report on injustices in a globalized world, socio-political challenges and sustainable development. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the three-year project with around 2.5 million US dollars. Because of this payment, Oliver Neß in M - Menschenmachen Medien questioned the journalistic independence of a report by Spiegel print magazine about the nuclear technology company TerraPower , in which Bill Gates is the majority owner.

On January 8, 2020, the website and apps were renamed and redesigned. Since then, the printed news magazine and the online news portal have both appeared under the name Der Spiegel and in a uniform design, after the editorial offices were already united in a joint editorial office on September 1, 2019.


From 2002, access to archive articles was initially chargeable. In 2007, articles from the last two years became available free of charge. On February 13, 2008, all of the articles in the printed Spiegel that had been published since 1947 became available free of charge on the Spiegel Wissen portal, which was founded in cooperation with the Bertelsmann subsidiary Wissen Media Group ( Wissen Media Verlag and then ) . Contents of the Bertelsmann lexicons and dictionaries and articles on the German-language Wikipedia were also available.

With a relaunch in August 2009, the content from Spiegel Wissen was integrated into the search results and the newly created topic pages at Spiegel Online ; the subdomain has not been used since December 2009.

In a decision (Ref .: VI ZR 243/08 and VI ZR 244/08) dated February 9, 2010, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) determined that articles may continue to be stored in the archive of Der Spiegel (then Spiegel Online ), in which the perpetrators are named by name in the case of serious crimes. The right to freedom of expression and the public's right to information take precedence over the plaintiffs' personal rights. Existing pictures belonged to the testimonies of contemporary history.

Forum and comment function

In the forum, users had the opportunity to post comments on articles, similar to letters to the editor in a newspaper. A link to the forum was below the heading, and another at the bottom of the page. The comments were editorially checked according to the rules of an in-house netiquette and then reproduced in chronological order. Doubtful comments could be reported via a so-called flag function.

An analysis of Spiegel Online's comments section between May 2014 and December 2016 revealed an average of around 70 percent of Spiegel Online articles that could be commented on. However, the proportion fell temporarily between mid-2015 and March 2016 from almost 80 percent of commentable articles to almost 50 percent. Comment bans are common on articles on terrorism, refugees, justice reporting, crime, the Middle East conflict and Israel.

When the website was redesigned on January 8, 2020, a new comment area was also introduced. For technical reasons, the old comments were not adopted and can therefore no longer be accessed online.


Logo from October 2019
Logo until October 2019

The Bento format was launched on October 1, 2015, with the aim of reaching the target group of 18 to 30 year olds. The independent editorial team was initially headed by Frauke Lüpke-Narberhaus and Ole Reißmann, who were replaced by Viktoria Bolmer and Julia Rieke on September 1, 2019.

The use of native advertising , in which advertising contributions do not differ optically from editorial contributions, is controversial within Spiegel-Verlag . The advertising contributions are of Bento written 'employees for advertisers and Bento - layout published. They are not referred to as advertisements or advertisements, but simply marked with a green frame and a mark as “Sponsored Post”. In 2014, native advertising was described in a Spiegel article as “deliberately misleading readers” and “risky swap of credibility for money”. Advertising that looks like an editorial text was excluded for the Spiegel .

A comprehensive relaunch took place on October 16, 2019, in which Bento was brought up to the mirror in terms of appearance and content . In addition, the start of the print supplement Bento Start was announced for 2020 , which, as the successor to the Uni Spiegel , should be added to the student subscriptions and distributed to universities every quarter. On June 10, 2020, Spiegel-Verlag announced that it would discontinue Bento in autumn and replace it with the new Spiegel Start offer . As part of the job and career department, Spiegel Start should deal with the subjects of studying and starting a job. A print supplement of the same name is to be added to the Spiegel quarterly and distributed to universities. It is also to be integrated into the Spiegel + payment service. In the case of the Bento , which was permanently in the red, Spiegel-Verlag did not think that additional income from payment models was realistic.


Podcasts have been offered again since March 2017 , after a first attempt in this area was made between 2006 and 2007 with Holidays for the Ears . In November 2017, the paid podcast Sagen, Was ist started together with Audible , and in September 2019 the news podcast Spiegel Update , which appears three times a day .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. IVW (April 2020): Reach figures of online portals for Q4 / 2020 .
  2. Statista (April 2020): IVW: Number of visits (online + mobile + CTV) to news portals in Germany in April 2020 .
  3. a b Imprint
  4. a b Radical reorganization at Spiegel: SpOn moves closer to Print-Spiegel under company law, August 13, 2018
  5. “Der Spiegel” and its “Project Orange”: new structure, new brand identity, new editorial system, August 27, 2019
  6. Figures and data on the Spiegel Group
  7. Sandra Golz: "SPIEGEL ONLINE is the measure of all things" In: medienMITTWEIDA , May 10, 2007.
  8. Götz Hamann : Expensive look in the "mirror". In: Zeit Online . April 29, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2014 .
  9. ↑ Publishing decision . In: horizon . December 5, 2013, page 6.
  10. Thorsten Dörting, Matthias Streitz, Jörn Sucher: This is how Spiegel Online is financed . In: Spiegel Online , August 16, 2017
  11. Jens Schröder: AGOF: World is moving closer to SpOn thanks to N24 traffic, Focus almost on par with image thanks to record numbers. In: Meedia . April 13, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 .
  12. Meedia (January 9, 2020): IVW-News-Top-50: “stern” is growing against the trend to a new record, “Rheinmain Extratipp” overcomes the fall dent with a 77.5% plus .
  13. IVW (April 2020): Reach figures of online portals for Q4 / 2020 .
  14. Spiegel Online (archive version from October 23, 2019)
  15. ^ "Spiegel" fires editor-in-chief Aust, February 5, 2008
  16. Wolfgang Büchner and Rüdiger Ditz are Spiegel Online bosses, May 27, 2008
  17. Rüdiger Ditz is the sole director of Spiegel Online at, June 5, 2009
  18. Lonely at the top, February 21, 2011
  19. Short process with the "Spiegel" tip, April 9, 2013
  20. What does the new "Spiegel" boss Wolfgang Büchner want?, August 26, 2013
  21. ^ "Spiegel" parted ways with editor-in-chief Wolfgang Büchner, December 4, 2014
  22. Klaus Brinkbäumer is the new editor-in-chief of Spiegel, Florian Harms is the new editor-in-chief of Spiegel Online, January 13, 2015
  23. Barbara Hans becomes the new editor-in-chief of Spiegel Online, December 6, 2016
  24. Julia Bönisch: Opinion Leader or Popular Medium ?: Spiegel Online's journalistic profile . LIT Verlag Münster, 2006, ISBN 978-3-8258-9379-8 , p. 7.
  25. Appearance from Spiegel Online 1996. In: . Spiegel Online, June 27, 1996, accessed August 9, 2019.
  26. Julia Bönisch: Opinion Leader or Popular Medium ?: Spiegel Online's journalistic profile . LIT Verlag Münster, 2006, ISBN 978-3-8258-9379-8 , p. 9.
  27. ↑ No more fun at Spiegel Online: The satire section “Spam” is discontinued. In: Meedia , July 18, 2016, accessed July 23, 2017 .
  28. a b Everything new at “Spiegel” on the web - this is how editor-in-chief Klusmann wants to attract new digital subscribers. In: January 8, 2020, accessed January 8, 2020 .
  29. Kicker Online cooperates with the Spiegel group, February 1, 2008
  30. "Kicker" and Spiegel TV part: Agency MediaTTor to push video production, January 9, 2018
  31. Legal Tribune Online is Spiegel Online's new cooperation partner. In: , April 26, 2010.
  32. Marketers have added Legal Tribune Online to their client list. In: , February 27, 2012.
  33. Spiegel Online exclusively presents video content from Vice TV. In: , January 25, 2011.
  34. Spiegel Online relaunches homepage - and gives print more space, June 5, 2013
  35. Spiegel-Verlag starts paid offers on “Spiegel Online”. In: . Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 27, 2016.
  36. “Spiegel” launches new “Daily” payment offer. In: . Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 15, 2017.
  37. ↑ Moving together on the thick ship. In: . Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 28, 2018.
  38. Welcome to the new SPIEGEL +. In: . Spiegel Online, May 28, 2018.
  39. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Spiegel Online wants to strengthen international reporting, April 10, 2019
  40. Spiegel Online
  41. The "Spiegel" contradicts allegations about the Gates Foundation, January 12, 2020
  42. Non-profit rescuers, February 4, 2020
  43. Restructuring at "Spiegel": It will take another ten years until all online users are in employee KG. In: June 19, 2019, accessed June 19, 2019 .
  44. Spiegel Online: Finding instead of searching with Spiegel Wissen ( memento of July 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), February 13, 2008.
  45. ^ "All relevant information with one click" In: Spiegel Online , December 17, 2007.
  46. Spiegel Online modernizes its website . Press release, Spiegel-Verlag, August 18, 2009.
  47. Spiegel Online was allowed to keep a dossier, in which old word and picture reports on a serious criminal offense are summarized, ready for download for a fee. In: , No. 30/2010.
  48. Special terms of use for your contributions, May 22, 2018
  49. David Kriesel : What is mirror mining? . In: . December 28, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  50. Analysis by Spiegel Online: This is how Germany's largest news site ticks . In: . December 28, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  51. What the new comment area means for our users, January 4, 2020
  52. a b Karoline Meta Beisel: Sometimes be crazy. In: October 1, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  53. ^ Anne Fromm: The Spontis from the ball pit. In: October 1, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  54. Thomas Borgböhmer: Change at the top of bento: Lüpke-Narberhaus and Reissmann get new positions at “Spiegel”. In: September 4, 2019, accessed September 4, 2019 .
  55. Daniel Bouhs: On behalf of ... In: November 25, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  56. Isabell Hülsen and Martin U. Müller : Soul Seller. In: April 19, 2014, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  57. Roland Pimpl: This is how Spiegel makes its youth portal more adult - even with print. In: October 16, 2019, accessed June 10, 2020 .
  58. David Hein: Spiegel discontinues Bento and develops a new offer for young readers. In: June 10, 2020, accessed June 10, 2020 .
  59. SpOn boss Hans: "Audio is consistent digital journalism. It can do more than just text", April 9, 2018
  60. Podcast offensive: Audible launches 22 exclusive formats including Der Spiegel, Vice and Brand Eins, November 2, 2017
  61. Three times a day: “Der Spiegel” starts newscast for smart speakers and podcast apps, September 11, 2019