Created in: 1944
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 320 thousand copies
The newspaper: Le Monde is one of the most popular French newspapers, and one of the most renowned globally, with a widespread diffusion around the World. Its editorial line is less clear than that of Le Figaro – its greatest competitor. Indeed, although the newspaper doesn’t claim any political trend in its line, many consider Le Monde newspaper to lean towards the center-left-wing of the French political spectrum. The newspaper presents a relatively classic set of articles, dealing with the general national and international news. Detailed portraits of famous public faces, however, let the paper differ from its counterparts.
Le Canard Enchaîné
Created in: 1915
The average number of copies sold per week in 2019: about 340 thousand copies
The newspaper: Le Canard Enchaîné (whose name literally means “The Chained Duck” but is a play on words since “Canard” is a colloquial term for “Newspaper” in French) is a weekly satirical paper. Contrary to a more provocative Charlie Hebdo, Le Canard Enchaîné takes a more easygoing tone and is never vindictive. Although slightly leaning towards the left-wing, no political side escapes its ironical and mocking editorial line. Fully independent on the financial aspect, Le Canard Enchaîné can proudly claim that it neutrally points at everything that needs to be pointed at. Famous for its many scandals and revelations, Le Canard Enchaîné has real traction in the French society and is very listened to, as most of what it revealed proved true.
Created in: 1946
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 240 thousand copies
The newspaper: L’Équipe is the main sports daily newspaper in France. To understand the newspaper, it is best to go back in time, in the late 19th century, when the French sports news was dominated by one paper: Le Vélo.
A competitor was created in 1900, l’Auto. Despite harsh beginnings, l’Auto launched in 1903 a new competition based on a grandiose idea: competitors would have to cycle around France in the largest cycling race ever created. This was the birth of Le Tour de France. The success was almost immediate and propelled l’Auto in the front of the news stage. After World War II, auto became l’Équipe, and then began a new era for the newspaper which grew fast and changed hands several times to finally end up owned by the media group, Amaury.
Created in: 1944
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 184 thousand copies
The newspaper: Le Parisien is a local newspaper distributed in the Paris area. Although not national, its high volume of reach makes it one of the top French newspapers. A national version of it, called “Aujourd’hui en France” also exists. Le Parisien covers the local news with a generalist and non-militant editorial line. Each department of the region has its own subpart. Since Paris is the heart of the power in France, and since the country is so centralized, reading Le Parisien gives actually quite an accurate snapshot of the French current matters.
Le Journal du dimanche (JDD)
Created in: 1948
The average number of copies sold per week in 2019: about 140 thousand copies
The newspaper: The Journal du Dimanche, colloquially called ‘JDD’ (pronounced zhee-day-day), is a weekly paper, published every Sunday. Despite its relatively broad range of topics, quite similar to the other newspapers, the JDD is mostly known as a reference in political news. Apolitical, the JDD is known for its politicians’ interviews, for its many opinions and poll surveys, and for its rankings of famous people
Created in: 1908
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 130 thousand copies
The newspaper: Les Echos is the reference daily newspaper dealing with the Economy and the world of Business. It started in a much more humble way, as the main communication tool for a family export business, under the name “Les Echos de exportation”. Slowly gaining traction among small businesses, it only became the main newspaper on the matter of economic affairs after the Wars.
Despite a few attempts to vulgarize its contents, Les Echos offers an in-depth analysis that is directed to a knowledgeable audience.
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 70 thousand copies.
The newspaper: Initially created as a far-left newspaper by Jean-Paul Sartre, in the wake of the riots and events of May 1968, “Libé” as it is familiarly known, then turned towards a more central-left, left-democrat line. Its many changes in tone, its surprising stances, and its sharp political shifts caused much criticism against the newspaper.
Created in: 1970
The average number of copies sold per week in 2019: about 60 thousand copies
The newspaper: Replacing the former newspaper Hara-Kiri, Charlie Hebdo is a satirical weekly newspaper. Depicting itself as a left-wing critic paper, it deals with all subjects, often raising polemics. Very humoristic illustrated, its front pages are often broadcasted in the world and often cause scandals.
Announced for November 2, 2011, a front-page presenting a specially rebranded “Charia Hebdo”, and depicting Prophet Muhammad as the new Editor-in-Chief to –ironically– celebrate the victory of the Ennahdha Party in Tunisia, caused scandalized reactions. On the night of the 1st to the 2nd of November, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed in Paris, and its website hacked. A long debate on the freedom of the press and freedom of expression in France was triggered. Some saw blasphemy in what some others saw the free speech. The editorial team of Charlie Hebdo refused to show any intimidation, defending their right to express themselves. In the following years, several new caricatures of Muhammad caused the anger of those who saw in the publications of Charlie Hebdo a pure provocation. On January 7, 2015, two heavily armed men stormed the new Charlie Hebdo offices.
Created in: 1904
The average number of copies sold per day in 2019: about 37 thousand copies
The newspaper: Contrary to the first three newspapers I cited above, L’Humanité is far from being independent as it was originally founded by Jean Jaurès as a socialist paper before becoming the communist party’s newspaper until 1994 when it finally reopened to other left-wing opinions. Although it claims to be broadly gathering all left-wing ideas, its communist past is still very present.
Every year, the paper organizes a large festival named « Fête de l’Humanité » which helps funding its activities. The festival gathers between half a million to 800 thousand people each year and is one of the most popular events in France.
Source - https://www.discoverwalks.com/blog/paris/top-10-most-famous-newspapers-in-france/