French state doles out millions to newspapers owned by billionaire press barons

Économie et social — Opinion

As a result of the digital revolution, print versions of France's national daily newspapers sell barely more than 150,000 copies a day at kiosks and other outlets. This contrasts with a figure of 1.3 million daily copies back in 1990. Yet the French state  always seems ready to come to the aid of the various billionaires who own France's national titles.  Just a few weeks ago  the government set aside 30 million euros in extra help for the printed press. It is an approach which is both unjust and incoherent, argues Mediapart co-founder Laurent Mauduit in this op-ed article.

Macron's businesslike media strategy worries French press

France — Link

New French president's media style is more reminiscent of corporate PR than traditional political briefings, says Pauline Bock in New Statesman.

My thoughts are 'too complex' for journalists, says Macron

France — Link

Élysée official say new president's 'complex thought process' lends itself badly to traditional Bastille Day television interview with journalists.

French media begin blackout on identifying terrorists

France — Link

Some French broadcasters and newspapers announce they will refrain from naming, or publishing photos of, terrorists so as not to contribute to  their 'glorification'.

Charlie Hebdo killings puts France among deadliest for press attacks

France — Link

Murder of 9 journalists in attack on magazine left France second only to Syria in annual list of world's deadliest countries for journalists.

Survivor of Charlie Hebdo killers sues French TV and radio stations

France — Link

TV and radio stations revealed the presence of Lilian Lepère hiding in a cupboard at a printing plant where the two gunman were under seige.

Why France's Front National loathes freedom of the press


Marine Le Pen claims she is trying to make the far-right Front National more 'normal', a strategy that has perhaps contributed to her party surging ahead in opinion polls. One survey suggests that Le Pen would come top if the first round of voting in a presidential election were held today, whoever her main opponent. But behind the attempts to 'de-demonize' the FN lurks another reality – that of a party that still refuses to abide by democratic rules. Last weekend Mediapart's reporter was ejected from the party's youth conference, and this was not the first time this has occurred. Nor is it just Mediapart which is targeted – other media outlets and also academics have found themselves ostracised by a party which seems to fear the freedom of the press.

Women journalists launch collective attack on France's macho media


A collective of French female journalists have launched a campaign against what they call the “invisibility” of women in the media and the often sexist stereotypes of women presented by the media. Their manifesto, published earlier this week with signatures of support from more than 400 media professionals, calls for tough new measures to guarantee gender parity in the journalistic profession and among pundits invited by the media, as already required by law. Here, Mediapart political correspondent Lénaïg Bredoux, a member of the newly-formed collective, explains why she and her colleagues have had enough of the macho media.  

François Hollande’s affair: scandal reveals a changing France

France — Link

Exposé of the French president's alleged affair with actress marks a departure from the country's previous nonchalance over such matters.

Compromise on French 'cultural exception' opens way for EU-US free trade talks

International — Link

EU trade ministers' deal means the audiovisual sector will be excluded from any free trade agreement with the United States.

Google chief meets Hollande in row over unpaid media content links

International — Link

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt met with French President François Hollande to discuss a revenue row with media firms over content use.

The exception that is Mediapart


Launched less than four years ago, Mediapart is unique among the media, with no equivalent in terms of either its editorial identity or its business model. This December marked the first year in which it has crossed into profit, with more than 56,000 subscribers. Here, Mediapart co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel sets out why, more than ever, this fully-independent, ad-free online journal needs the support and loyalty of its subscribers to reach an enduring, solid base.

French papers team up to break Apple stranglehold

France — Link

Apple's tight control over media content on its iPad could fall foul of a coalition some of France's most powerful newspapers and magazines.

How France's struggling press sinks 1 billion euros in subsidies

France — Investigation

The French press industry receives a staggering one billion euros annually in State aid, amounting to a "fiasco" and a "scandal" according to a government-commissioned study. Now newspaper publishers are under pressure to restructure or die before the tap runs dry. But, as David Medioni and Vincent Truffy report here, time is fast running out on a business still unable to define its future.