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French Media - THE PRESS

The French press boasts a wealth of national and regional dailies and a thriving magazine sector, but closer inspection reveals complex trends which are different for each sector.

Daily Newspapers

              Out of a total of 3,080 titles, 11 are national dailies (with over 2 million copies sold per day) and 63 regional dailies (over 6 million copies sold per day).

In 1945, there were 26 national daily newspapers (4.6 million copies sold daily) and 153 regional dailies (7.5 million copies sold per day). It emerges from these figures that France has lost half of its daily newspapers since the enf of the Second World War.

The reasons for this loss were the advent of first radio and then television. But economic causes such as modernisation of printing works, rises in cost prices, falling revenues from advertising and the drift of ownership towards the big newspaper companies also played an important part.

These figures place France at the bottom of the scale in Europe. French daily newspapers are amongst the least bought and least read in the region.

National Dailies

The national dailies edited in Paris and sold all over France are the worst affected by this decline: their turnover shows a fall of 2.9%.

Only four newspapers, of which one (L'Equipe) is exclusively a sports newspaper, sell more than 300,000 copies; in the 60,000 - 115,000 bracket there are two newspapers with a financial slant (Les Echos and La Tribune) and one turf paper (Paris-Turf).

L'Humanité is the only newspaper linked to a political party (the French Communist Party) and La Croix gives a special place to the views of the Church of France.


Le Parisien                             458,051

L'Equipe                      384,003

Le Monde                     367,787

Le Figaro                     364,584

France-Soir                             170,014

Libération                    160,654

Paris-Turf                    113,852

Les Echos                     105,50?

La Croix                                           91,552

La Tribune                             72,125

L'Humanité                             58,245

* (number of copies sold per day)

Regional Daily Newspapers

These are in better health: their turnover shows a rise of 1.9%. Twelve regional dailies sell more than 150,000 copies each.

Ouest-France has the highest readership of all French daily papers, at 761,828 copies.

The relative success of regional dailies is probably due to the fact that they concentrate on local and regional news which is more down-to-earth and closer to people's own concerns. They are in better touch with their readers and have been able to adapt to modernisation more quickly.


Ouest-France                                  761,828

Sud-Ouest                                       340,702

La Voix du Nord                            328,430

Le Dauphiné Libéré                        261,530

La Nouvelle République

du Centre-Ouest                             255,049

Nice-Matin                                     235,650

L'Est-Républicain                          219,232

La Montagne                                  219,157

La Dépêche du Midi                       202,190

Le Télégramme de Brest                189,401

Le Républicain Lorrain                  173,477

Le Midi Libre                                 160,060



France has a lively and flourishing magazine sector. There are magazines of every type, which adapt well to shifts in taste and mentality and provide an extremely varied range of titles.

These include weekly, monthly and quarterly magazines and range in subject from general news magazines such as L'Express, Le Nouvel Observateur or Le Point to specialist magazines in areas like computing, history, medicine and science.

The areas in which there is the greatest choice of titles are sports magazines (about 60 titles), women's magazines (25), magazines for young people (25) and radio and television journals (15, with the largest readership of all press titles).

Hobbies and interests magazines are increasingly popular, with titles devoted to houses and gardens, shooting and fishing, cycling, sailing, classical music, jazz, travel and tourism and so on. There is a magazine for everyone, depending on his or her tastes and interests.

Magazines disappear and others start up all the time, giving a very different picture from the daily newspaper sector. Whilst the French press is vulnerable on the one hand and flourishing on the other, it is difficult to make predictions about its future.


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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:58:16 ZULU