Le Monde

Le Monde

name =

type = Daily newspaper
format = Berliner
foundation = 1944
owners = Groupe Le Monde
political = Centrist,sometimes said to be Centre Left
language = French
headquarters = Bd Auguste-Blanqui 80,
F-75707 Paris Cedex 13
editor = Eric Fottorino
website = [http://www.lemonde.fr/ www.lemonde.fr]
ISSN = 0395-2037

"Le Monde" ( _en. The World) is a French daily evening newspaper with a circulation in 2004 of 371,803. It is considered the French newspaper of record, and is generally well respected, often the only French newspaper easily obtainable in non-Francophone countries.

The newspaper should not be confused with the monthly publication "Le Monde diplomatique", of which "Le Monde" has 51% ownership, but which is editorially independent.

"Le Monde" was founded by Hubert Beuve-Méry at the request of General Charles de Gaulle after the German army was driven from Paris during World War II, and took over the format of "Le Temps", whose reputation had suffered during the Occupation. Beuve-Méry reportedly demanded total editorial independence as the condition for his taking on the project. Its first edition appeared on December 19, 1944. "Le Monde" has been available on the Internet since December 19, 1995. It is the principal publication of Groupe Le Monde.

Its current board chairman and director of publication is Éric Fottorino and the current chief editor "(rédacteur en chef)" is Gérard Courtois. Plantu is one of several political cartoonists who contribute to the paper, and his work is often featured on the front page above the fold.


"Le Monde" was in the past often described as centre-left, but its editorial line may be more appropriately described nowadays as simply moderate. In 1981 it backed the election of Socialist François Mitterrand on the grounds that alternation of the political party in government would be beneficial to the country.

The paper's journalistic side has a collegial form of organization, in which most journalists are not only tenured, but financial stakeholders in the enterprise as well, and participate in the elections of upper management and senior executives. In contrast to other world newspapers such as "The New York Times", "Le Monde" was traditionally focused on offering analysis and opinion, as opposed to being a newspaper of record. Hence, it was considered less important for the paper to cover "all the news that's fit to print" (the motto of "The New York Times") than to offer thoughtful interpretation of current events. Writers of lead reporting articles did not hesitate to provide commentary or venture predictions. In recent years, however, the paper has established a greater distinction between fact and opinion.

Controversies and politics

In their 2003 book entitled "La face cachée du Monde" ("The hidden face of "Le Monde"), authors Pierre Péan and Philippe Cohen alleged that Colombani and the then editor Edwy Plenel had, amongst other things, shown partisan bias and engaged in financial dealings that compromised the paper's independence. It also accused the paper of dangerously damaging the authority of the French state by having revealed various political scandals (notably corruption scandals surrounding Jacques Chirac, and the sinking of a Greenpeace boat, the "Rainbow Warrior", by French intelligence under President François Mitterrand). In one chapter, the authors of the book accused Colombani and Plenel of "xenophilia" and of "not liking France". This book remains controversial, but attracted much attention and media coverage in France and around the world at the time of its publication. Following a lawsuit, the authors and the publisher agreed in 2004 not to proceed to any reprinting.

"Le Monde" has been found guilty of defamation for saying that Catalan soccer club FC Barcelona was connected to a doctor involved in steroid use. The court fined the newspaper nearly $450,000 and the French newspaper will have to publish a copy of the court's sentence both in its newspaper and online versions.cn|date=August 2008

After the 9/11 attacks, "Le Monde" published on its front page a famous quote written by Jean-Marie Colombani, entitled "We all are Americans".

During the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, "The Economist" published an article in which John F. Kerry's popularity among Europeans (allegedly based on his cosmopolitanism and leftism) was illustrated by a cartoon showing him holding a copy of "Le Monde".

Recent circulation history:

Publication schedule

"Le Monde" is published around midday, and the date on the masthead is the following day's. That is, the issue which is released at midday on 15 March shows 16 March in the masthead. It is available on newsstands in Paris and some other parts of France on the day of release, and received by mail subscribers on the masthead date.

Famous investigations

Among "Le Monde" famous investigations are the one concerning the sinking of the "Rainbow Warrior". In 1995, on the 10th anniversary of this failed secret operation, the newspaper directly implicated François Mitterrand, who was president at the time, in the operation.

Headquarters building

In December 2006, on the 60th anniversary of its publishing début, the journal moved into new headquarters at n°80, Boulevard Auguste-Blanqui.

The building was formerly the headquarters of Air France, refashioned by Bouygues from the designs of Christian de Portzamparc. The building's façade is an enormous fresco adorned by pigeons (drawn by Plantu), flying towards Victor Hugo, symbolising freedom of the press.


* Hubert Beuve-Méry (1944–1969)
* Jacques Fauvet (1969–1981)
* Claude Julien (1981–1982)
* André Laurens (1982–1985)
* André Fontaine (1985–1991)
* Jacques Lesourne (1991–1994)
* Jean-Marie Colombani (1994–2007)
* Éric Fottorino (2007–present)

ee also

* Claude Julien, editor in 1969
* List of French newspapers
* "Le Figaro"
* "Libération"
* "El País", newspaper in Spain inspired by "Le Monde"

External links

* [http://www.lemonde.fr/ "Le Monde" website]
* [http://www.ojd.com/fr/adhchif/chif_fiche.php?adhid=625 OJD]
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/soccer/01/15/bc.soc.barcelona.lemond.ap/index.html "CNNSI Le Monde Guilty of Defamation"]

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