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Le Monde
First issue on 19 December 1944
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Berliner [1]
Owner(s) Groupe Le Monde
PublisherLouis Dreyfus
Editor Jérôme Fenoglio
Staff writers165
Founded1944; 79 years ago (1944)
  • French
  • English (digital translation) [2] [3]
Headquarters67–69 Avenue Pierre Mendès-France
75707 Paris Cedex 13
Circulation479,243 (total, 2022) [4]
360,000 (digital, 2020) [4]
ISSN 0395-2037 (print)
1950-6244 (web)
OCLC number 833476932

Le Monde (French pronunciation: [lə mɔ̃d] ; lit.'The World') is a French daily afternoon newspaper. It is the main publication of Le Monde Group and reported an average circulation of 479,243 copies per issue in 2022, about 40,000 of which were sold abroad.

It has had its own website since 19 December 1995 and is often the only French newspaper easily obtainable in non-French-speaking countries. It 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 is considered one of the French newspapers of record, along with Libération and Le Figaro. A Reuters Institute poll in 2021 found that Le Monde is the most trusted French newspaper. [5]

The paper's journalistic side has a collegial form of organization, in which most journalists are also tenured, unionized, and financial stakeholders in the business. While shareholders appoint the company's CEO, the editor is elected by Le Monde's journalists to protect the newsroom's independence.

Le Monde has often broken major scandals, for instance, by directly implicating President François Mitterrand in the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand.

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 offer maximum coverage of the news than to offer thoughtful interpretation of current events. The paper has established a greater distinction between fact and opinion in recent years. [6]

Le Monde was founded by Hubert Beuve-Méry at the request of Charles de Gaulle (as Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic) on 19 December 1944, shortly after the Liberation of Paris from Nazism, and is published continuously since its first edition.

In the 1990s and 2000s, La Vie-Le Monde Group expanded under editor Jean-Marie Colombani with a number of acquisitions. However, its profitability was not sufficient to cover the large debt loads it took on to fund this expansion, and it sought new investors in 2010 to keep the company out of bankruptcy. In June 2010, French investors Matthieu Pigasse, Pierre Bergé, and Xavier Niel acquired a controlling stake in the newspaper. [7]


Le Monde was founded in 1944, [8] [9] at the request of General Charles de Gaulle, after the German army had been driven from Paris during World War II. The paper took over the headquarters and layout of Le Temps, which had been the most important newspaper in France, but its reputation had suffered during the Occupation. [10] Beuve-Méry reportedly demanded total editorial independence as the condition for his taking on the project.

Le Monde began publishing a weekly digest edition in English on 23 April 1969. [11]

In December 2006, on the 60th anniversary of its publishing début,[ citation needed] Le Monde moved into new headquarters in Boulevard Auguste-Blanqui, 13th arrondissement of Paris. [12] The building—formerly the headquarters of Air France—was refashioned by Bouygues from the designs of Christian de Portzamparc. The building's façade has an enormous fresco adorned by doves (drawn by Plantu) flying towards Victor Hugo, symbolising freedom of the press.

In 2008, Le Monde was found guilty of defamation for saying that Spanish football club FC Barcelona was connected to a doctor involved in steroid use. The Spanish court fined the newspaper nearly $450,000. [13]

In April 2016, two Le Monde reporters were denied visas to visit Algeria as part of the French Prime Minister press convoy to Algeria. The denial of visas to Le Monde reporters caused some French media to boycott the event, including Libération, Le Figaro, and France Inter. Le Monde had previously published the names of Algerian officials directly involved with the Panama Papers scandal. [14] [15] Coverage of the scandal in Le Monde included a front-page photo of President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika. [15] However, the paper clarified in its next edition that Bouteflika was not directly implicated, but maintained that his associates were. Bouteflika opened a libel suit against Le Monde, which was later dropped after the newspaper apologised. [16]

In 2014, Groupe Le Monde announced that Le Monde would move into a new headquarters, also in the 13th arrondissement, around 2017, with space for 1,200 people. [17]

Le Monde is regarded as France's leading newspaper of record. [18] [19]


In June 2010, investors Matthieu Pigasse, Pierre Bergé, and Xavier Niel acquired a controlling stake in the newspaper. [7] In October 2018, staff learned that Pigasse had sold 49% of his stake in the company to Czech businessman Daniel Křetínský. Le Monde's Independency Group, a minority shareholder that aims to protect the paper's editorial independence, had not been informed of the sale, and asked Pigasse and Křetínský to sign an "approval agreement" that would give the Independency Group the right to approve or reject any controlling shareholder. As of September 2019, they had not done so. [20] [21]

Publication schedule

Le Monde is published around midday, and the cover date on the masthead is the following day's. For instance, the issue released at midday on 15 March shows 16 March on the masthead. It is available on newsstands in France on the day of release and received by mail subscribers on the masthead date. The Saturday issue is a double one, for Saturday and Sunday.

Thus the latest edition can be found on newsstands from Monday to Friday included, while subscribers will receive it from Tuesday to Saturday.

Le Monde was among the first French newspapers on the web, with its first web edition on 19 December 1995. [22] It is among the 50 most visited websites in France. [23]

Starting in the 2000s Le Monde allowed its subscribers to publish a blog on its website. These blogs were called the "les blogs abonnées du". On 10 April 2019, Le Monde announced that it would be closing its blog platform on 5 June 2019. [24] [25] Although the reasons for the closing of the blogs were unclear, it could be linked to the dominance of social networks like Facebook. [26]

Le Monde launched an English language edition of its news website on 7 April 2022, featuring its articles translated from French. [2] [3]


In 1981, Le Monde backed the election of socialist François Mitterrand, partly on the grounds that the alternation of the political party in government would be beneficial to the democratic character of the state. [27] The paper endorsed centre-right candidate Édouard Balladur in the 1995 presidential election, and Ségolène Royal, the Socialist Party candidate, in the 2007 presidential election.


According to the Mitrokhin Archive investigators, Le Monde (KGB codename VESTNIK, "messenger") was the KGB's key outlet for Soviet disinformation in the French media. The archive identified two senior Le Monde journalists and several contributors who were used in the operations (see also the article on Russian influence operations in France). [28]

Michel Legris, a former journalist with the paper, wrote Le Monde tel qu'il est (Le Monde as it is) in 1976. According to him, the journal minimized the atrocities the Cambodian Khmer Rouge committed.

In their 2003 book titled La Face cachée du Monde (The Hidden face of "Le Monde"), authors Pierre Péan and Philippe Cohen alleged that Colombani and then-editor Edwy Plenel had shown, amongst other things, partisan bias and had 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, the " Irish of Vincennes" affair, and the sinking of a Greenpeace boat, the Rainbow Warrior, by French intelligence under President François Mitterrand). This book remains controversial, but it attracted much attention and media coverage in France and worldwide at the time of its publication. Following a lawsuit, the authors and the publisher agreed in 2004 not to proceed with any reprinting.[ citation needed]


Recent circulation history

Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total circulation 390,840 392,772 405,983 407,085 389,249 371,803 360,610 350,039 358,655 340,131 323,039 319,022 325,295 318,236 303,432 298,529 292,054 289,555
2017 2018 2019 2020
301,528 302,624 325,565 393,109

Prix littéraire du Monde

The Prix littéraire du Monde has been awarded annually by Le Monde since 2013. It is awarded at the beginning of September to a novel published at the start of the French literary season—or "rentrée littéraire". The winner of the prize is chosen by a jury made up of journalists—literary journalists from Le Monde des livres, cultural or other editorial staff—chaired by the director of the newspaper. [29]


Year Author Title Publisher Notes Ref(s)
2013 Yasmina Reza Heureux les heureux Éditions Stock A "prix étranger" was also awarded to
Kevin Powers for The Yellow Birds
2014 Emmanuel Carrère Le Royaume Éditions P.O.L [31]
2015 Agnès Desarthe Ce cœur changeant Éditions de l'Olivier [32]
2016 Ivan Jablonka Laëtitia ou la Fin des hommes Éditions du Seuil [33]
2017 Alice Zeniter L'Art de perdre Éditions Flammarion [34]
2018 Jérôme Ferrari À son image Actes Sud [35]
2019 Cécile Coulon Une bête au paradis Éditions de l'Iconoclaste [36]
2020 Francesca Serra Elle a menti pour les ailes Éditions Anne Carrière [37]
2021 Jean-Claude Grumberg Jacqueline Jacqueline Éditions du Seuil [38]
2022 Mathieu Belezi Attaquer la terre et le soleil Le Tripode [39]
Neige Sinno Triste Tigre Éditions P.O.L [40]

See also


  1. ^ "The Berliner format". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Le Monde launches digital English language edition, partly translated by AI". Agence France-Presse. 7 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022 – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b Berthelot, Benoit (7 April 2022). "Le Monde Launches English Website on Eve of French Election". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Le Monde − History". Alliance pour les chiffres de la presse et des médias (in French). n.d. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  5. ^ Alice Antheaume (2021). "France". Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
  6. ^ "Portrait d'un quotidien" [Portrait of a daily] (PDF). Le Monde (in French). June 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2012.
  7. ^ a b Willsher, Kim (28 June 2010). "Tycoons given go-ahead for financial takeover of Le Monde". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "The press in France". BBC. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical development of the media in France" (PDF). McGraw-Hill Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  10. ^ Thogmartin, Clyde (1998). "The Golden Age and the War Years". The National Daily Press of France. Summa Publications, Inc. p. 113. ISBN  1-883479-20-7.
  11. ^ L. Hess, John (13 April 1969). "English Edition of Le Monde Due; Leading Paris Paper Starts Weekly Digest April 23". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  12. ^ "Mentions légales". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 5 July 2016. Editeur Société Éditrice du Monde [...] Dont le siège social est situé 80, boulevard Auguste-Blanqui – 75707 Paris cedex 13
  13. ^ "Barcelona wins lawsuit against French newspaper Le Monde". USA Today. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  14. ^ "French media boycott Valls' Algiers visit". Deutsche Welle. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Algeria bans French journalist in row over Panama Papers". Reuters. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Algeria leader drops Panama Papers libel suit vs Le Monde". Yahoo! News. Agence France-Presse. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Un nouveau siège social pour le journal "Le Monde" en 2017". L'Express (in French). Agence France Presse. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  18. ^ "France media guide". BBC News. n.d. Archived from the original on 19 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  19. ^ Agnew, Harriet (18 March 2019). "Battle for future of France's Le Monde paper". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  20. ^ Willsher, Kim (10 September 2019). "Le Monde journalists warn of threat to editorial independence". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  21. ^ "" We, "Le Monde" journalists... "". Le Monde. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  22. ^ Claire Hemery, "Quand la presse française s'emparait du web", La revue des médias, Institut national de l'audiovisuel, 19 December 2013
  23. ^ Top sites in France Archived 25 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine - Alexa Rank
  24. ^ "La fin annoncée des blogs abonnées du, la fin du blog paysages sur les blogs" (in French). Blogs le Monde on 14 April 2019. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Le Monde supprime tous les blogs qu'il héberge" (in French). Blogs le Monde on 14 April 2019. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  26. ^ "La fin du blog paysages sur les blogs – Das Ende des Blog " paysages " auf den Blogs von Le" (in French and German). Blogs le Monde on 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  27. ^ Benson, Rodney (Spring 2004). "La fin du Monde? Tradition and Change in the French press" (PDF). French Politics, Culture & Society. Vol. 22, no. 1. pp. 108–126 [p. 111, and footnote 13, pp. 123–124]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via New York University.
  28. ^ Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin: The Mitrokhin Archive. The KGB in Europe and the West. London, Penguin Books 2000, ISBN  978-0-14-028487-4, p. 613.
  29. ^ Birnbaum, Jean (8 September 2015). "Le Monde remet son prix littéraire". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  30. ^ Birnbaum, Jean (22 May 2013). "Les livres du "Monde"". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Le Royaume d'Emmanuel Carrère reçoit le prix littéraire du Monde". Libération (in French). Agence France-Presse. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  32. ^ "Ce cœur changeant d'Agnès Desarthe, prix littéraire du Monde 2015". Le Monde (in French). 9 September 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  33. ^ Loret, Eric (7 September 2016). "Le Monde remet son prix littéraire à Laëtitia ou la Fin des hommes d'Ivan Jablonka". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  34. ^ Birnbaum, Jean; Leyris, Raphaëlle (6 September 2017). "Le Monde remet son prix littéraire à Alice Zeniter pour L'Art de perdre". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  35. ^ Birnbaum, Jean; Leyris, Raphaëlle (5 September 2018). "Le Monde remet son prix littéraire à Jérôme Ferrari pour A son image". Le (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  36. ^ Leyris, Raphaëlle; Birnbaum, Jean (4 November 2019). "Le Monde remet son prix littéraire à Cécile Coulon pour Une bête au Paradis". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  37. ^ Birnbaum, Jean (7 September 2020). "Francesca Serra, Prix littéraire Le Monde 2020 : "Aller voir les monstres d'angoisse qu'il y a dans les profondeurs de la superficialité"". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  38. ^ Weill, Nicolas (8 September 2021). "Jean-Claude Grumberg remporte le prix littéraire Le Monde 2021 pour Jacqueline Jacqueline". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Mathieu Belezi remporte le prix littéraire « Le Monde » 2022 pour « Attaquer la terre et le soleil »". Le (in French). 7 September 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  40. ^ "Neige Sinno remporte le prix littéraire « Le Monde » 2023 pour « Triste tigre »". Le (in French). 6 September 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.

Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 202–10

External links