Die Tageszeitung (English: “The daily newspaper”, often displayed as die tageszeitung and commonly referred to as taz), was founded in 1978 in Berlin. It is a cooperative-owned German daily newspaper which is administrated by a workers' self-management. Rising out of the midst of a progressive and politically left-leaning movement in the 1970s, its main focus has been on current politics and societal issues such as inequality and ecological crises both at the local and global scale and not covered by the more traditional and conservative newspapers at the time. It has often supported the German Green Party, but the taz has also been critical of the SPD/Greens coalition government (1998–2005).
Die Tageszeitung was established in 1978. From the beginning, the taz was intended to be an alternative to the mainstream press, in its own words: "irreverent, commercially independent, intelligent and entertaining." One expression of its alternative approach to journalism was the payment of unified salaries for all employees until 1991. Nowadays, employees in highly responsible positions receive bonuses. Still, salaries paid by the taz are considerably lower than what is paid in the rest of the industry.
Since 1992, the Tageszeitung has been owned by currently more than 13,500 paying members. It has a circulation of more than 60,000, with almost 50,000 subscriptions. In 1995, it was the first German national newspaper to make all of the content of issue available online. In 2009, Ines Pohl became editor in chief.
From the beginning, the Tageszeitung appeared in a nationwide edition as well as in a Berlin local edition. Over the years, local editorial offices for North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg and Bremen were added. While the latter two were merged to "taz nord" (North) the NRW-offices were closed as of July 2007.
The "potato Affair"
On 26 June 2006 Die Tageszeitung published a satirical article on its last page, headlined Die Wahrheit (the truth) that is reserved for satire and nonsense. It was titled Polens neue Kartoffel. Schurken, die die Welt beherrschen wollen. Heute: Lech „Katsche“ Kaczynski (Poland's new potatoes. Rogues who want to rule the world. Today: Lech „Katsche“ Kaczynski). This article ridiculed the Polish politicians President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister of Poland Jarosław Kaczyński. Lech Kaczyński then cancelled talks that were scheduled between Germany, Poland and France (the Weimar Triangle), officially for reasons of sickness.
- Oh mein Gott! (Oh my god!) – On the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI
- Es ist ein Mädchen (It's a girl) – On the election of Angela Merkel as the first female Chancellor of Germany
- Oops – they did it again! – On the re-election of George W. Bush as President of the United States
On 5 June 2008, the paper published a picture headlined "Onkel Baracks Hütte" (Uncle Barack's Cabin) with a picture of the White House below the headline as part of an article about then-Senator Barack Obama. That headline, which made reference to the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin", was perceived as racist by some of its readership.