This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (September 2013)
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The paper is considered to be highbrow. Its political direction is centrist and social-liberal, but has oscillated a number of times between slightly left-leaning and slightly right-leaning. Die Zeit often publishes dossiers, essays, third-party articles and excerpts of lectures of different authors emphasising their points of view on a single aspect or topic in one or in consecutive issues. It is known for its very large physical paper format (Nordisch) and its long and detailed articles.
The 1993 circulation of the weekly paper was 500,000 copies. With a circulation of 504,072 for the second half of 2012 and an estimated readership of slightly above 2 million, it is the most widely read German weekly newspaper. It reached 520,000 copies in the first first quarter of 2013.
The fact that the newspaper bears the coat of arms of Bremen in its title stems from an accident of history: when the paper was founded in the rather chaotic post-war occupied Germany, the city of Hamburg refused the use of its coat of arms in a private publication at the last moment; so instead the space reserved for it on the printing plate was filled with that of the nearby city of Bremen, as one of the founders was a friend of the mayor of Bremen.