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Learn French with the News: 30 French Newspapers You Don’t Wanna Miss

I can see the headline now: “French Fluency is Just a Newspaper Away!” — Written by YOU!

While television shows, French music and French movies have helped many learn French, news junkies know that nothing captivates your attention like a well-written news article.

Let’s check out the top 30 newspapers for French learners!

Contents

30 Newspapers for French Learners

Le Monde

french newspaper

History: Le Monde is a major daily newspaper that has been published continuously since 1944. Along with Le Figaro (see below), it’s one of France’s best-known papers.

It’s unique in that it’s one of the only remaining newspapers in the country that’s published in the evening, meaning that the following day’s edition hits newsstands in the late afternoon.

Slant: The publication’s editorial line can be generally described as center-left, making it comparable to an American publication like the New York Times or the United Kingdom’s The Guardian.

Audience: The newspaper is a leading national publication appealing to more highly-educated readers, including academics, intellectuals and civil servants. It offers a rich array of political reporting, as well as unrivaled coverage of cultural news in France.

Aside from politics, if you want to find reviews of the films creating buzz at the Cannes Film Festival or this year’s Prix Goncourt literary prize winner, Le Monde is the place to go.

The major downside for French learners is that the paper requires a higher level of knowledge. It prides itself on taking a more analytical approach to the news, meaning that stories are often on the longer side and include many historical and cultural references that can be difficult for you to understand as a non-native speaker.

Le Figaro

french newspaper

History: Along with Le Monde, Le Figaro is France’s other most well-known news publication. In fact, the two are often referred to as France’s newspapers of record. It’s also the country’s oldest newspaper, founded back in 1826 as a satirical publication.

Slant: Le Figaro has historically been the standard-bearer of France’s center-right, although it’s not as heavy on business and finance as comparable newspapers in the U.S. or U.K., such as the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times (Les Echos would be the French equivalent of these publications).

Instead, you can expect to find the conservative take on the most pressing issues of the day in its editorials and opinion pieces.

Audience: Like Le Monde, the paper is distributed nationally and written for a general audience. Among its readers, you’ll find many well-off, educated people working in the private sector.

The paper publishes stories on all the major political and social issues of the day, as well as a rich—although comparatively less extensive—sampling of stories on the country’s cultural life.

Unlike Le Monde, Le Figaro will likely be easier for you to read, although it still demands a good level of French.

Libération

french newspaper

History: The daily newspaper Libération is younger than Le Monde and Le Figaro, but it can claim a much more prestigious founder.

Started by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and journalist Serge July in 1976, the newspaper’s origins are deeply rooted in the tumultuous times following the May 1968 student riots.

Slant: While the newspaper has long since shed its more revolutionary outlook, it still occupies an important position on the French left. It’s particularly known for its provocative front pages, traditionally dominated by a large photo and accompanying headline.

Audience: Libération is often included as one of the quality daily publications (les quotidiens) with Le Monde and Le Figaro and appeals to an older generation of intellectuals and well-educated readers on the left that came of age in the 1970s.

However, its readership and influence have waned with its financial difficulties and many predict it won’t be around much longer.

It’s perhaps one of the most difficult newspapers to read for French learners—even some native French speakers will have trouble plodding through its rich style and difficult vocabulary.

Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France

french newspaper

History: Le Parisien is a relatively new daily newspaper that’s distributed widely in Paris and the surrounding region. Its sister publication, Aujourd’hui en France, often carries many of the same articles and is available outside the Paris area.

Combined, they’re the largest newspaper in France by circulation.

Slant: While the publication has no overt political bias, critics often claim that it sensationalizes stories and spends too much time covering the more sordid aspects of French political and social life. However, it would be unfair to compare it to British tabloids or an American publication like the New York Post.

Audience: If you were a director shooting a scene in a French café, it’s Le Parisien that you’d put in the hands of extra characters in the background. The newspaper’s colorful cover and large headlines are ubiquitous in Paris.

As a French learner, you’ll appreciate the plain-spoken and to-the-point style of the publication and its local stories. Plus, the odder bits of news it covers dominate espresso machine conversation across the country.

Metro/20 Minutes

french newspaper

History: These two publications are newcomers, but have—in the span of only a few years—come to dominate the daily life of the French.

They’re technically the largest newspapers in France by circulation, although most journalists would dispute that title as they’re actually distributed freely in metro stops and train stations across the country.

Slant: Because these newspapers are optimized for mass consumption, they feature little or no political bias, although like Le Parisien, are often criticized for sensationalizing the news and focusing too much on scandals and gossip.

Audience: If you’re looking for a quick rundown of the most important news in France, this is the place to go. These newspapers—which are designed to be read in about 15-20 minutes during your morning and evening commutes—feature short, no-frills stories covering local, national and international news.

L’Equipe

french newspaper

History: L’Equipe is a daily newspaper covering sports.

It’s been the home to many of the world’s most venerated sports journalists, such as Jacques Goddet, former director of the Tour de France and Gabriel Hanot, who is credited with being one of the masterminds behind the creation of the UEFA Champions League.

Slant: While it certainly has a penchant for supporting French athletes in international sporting competitions, L’Equipe harbors no particular loyalties when it comes to sports. The newspaper format, which is becoming less and less common for sports coverage, means that the publication conserves a more journalistic and analytical approach to its coverage than you’ll often find with sports.

Audience: The publication is widely read among both the lower and upper classes of French society and features articles on a broad range of sports, although French favorites like football (soccer), rugby and cycling are prominently featured.

If you’re looking for conversation starters to test out your language skills with locals, L’Equipe provides the perfect material. You might struggle when first reading the publication because of the sheer amount of new vocabulary there is to digest, but it surely won’t go to waste!

Les Echos

french newspaper

History: Les Echos translates to “The Echoes,” and its claim to fame is that it’s France’s first-ever daily financial newspaper.

Founded in 1908 by brothers Émile and Robert Servan-Schreiber, it once circulated more than 700,000 newspapers per day during its most popular period in the year 2000.

21 years later, it’s still quite popular and has diversified its offerings into digital and physical formats.

Slant: Due to its almost exclusive focus on economy and finance, Les Echos’ slant is slight right of center, and is politically aligned to economic liberalism.

This ideology advocates for free market capitalism, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes and opposition to trade unions. Despite this, Les Echos also covers left-aligned topics such as green technology.

Audience: While the newspaper isn’t exclusive to a social class or political ideology, its subject matter is most often appreciated by business-minded individuals and those interested in finance.

As such, Les Echos is seen as a corporate-class newspaper. It can be quite dense at times, and it can certainly take your knowledge of French economics and politics for granted, but it’s a great newspaper for those interested in business.

La Croix

french newspaper

History: If you know the translation of this newspaper’s name, La Croix (the cross), then you can surely guess what the focus of this newspaper is.

The first appearance of La Croix was in 1880, so it’s quite an established newspaper in France. While it has historically been affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church—and in some ways still is—it has since eased some of its focus on religion and stylizes itself as a general interest newspaper.

Slant: La Croix takes no official political position of the left-to-right spectrum, but it does often adopt the stance of the Roman Catholic Church on certain issues. As such, it’s safe to say that this newspaper is right-leaning, but is by no means a mouthpiece of conservatism or the Church.

Audience: This newspaper is suitable for members of the Roman Catholic Church, but it could also be enjoyed by readers who aren’t. The Roman Catholic Church isn’t an exclusive focus of La Croix, and there are often stories related to the economy, news, culture and lifestyle.

L’Humanité

french newspaper

History: The word l’humanité translates to “humanity” in English, and this newspaper was founded in 1904. It originated as a newspaper for the French Communist Party and still has connections to it even today.

It’s had a turbulent history since its founding with the rising and falling popularity of far-left thought, but in 2020, it boasted a circulation of almost 40,000.

Slant: Since it was once an arm of the French Communist Party, it’s safe to say that this newspaper leans pretty far left.

In fact, it was once believed that this newspaper survived the Cold War with donations from the Soviet Union itself.

As expected, much of its coverage focuses on current events, corruption, human rights and rampant capitalism.

Audience: Despite being left-leaning, it’s by no means preachy in a manifesto-like way. Its stories focus on major news events, politics and human interest stories. In that way, while left-leaning individuals may read L’Humanité for its history, other political affiliations may find the newspaper well-rounded enough for reading.

Ouest-France

french newspaper

History: Ouest-France translates literally to “West France,” and its original area of focus was, in fact, the western French departments of Pays de la Loire, Brittany and Lower Normandy.

Despite this, it’s quite a popular French newspaper, estimated by some to be the most read in France with over 2 million readers.

It was founded in 1944, and it currently has 47 distinct editions across 12 French departments: east, west, north and south.

Slant: Being a high-circulation publication, Ouest-France often treads the line of political centrism. It has historically been pro-European Union and is considered slightly right-wing due to its affiliation with European Christian democracy.

Audience: The beauty of Ouest-France is that its 47 editions allow for local flavors from each place to take the spotlight. Even though it does focus on news stories and issues that impact France, Europe and the world as a whole, each local iteration of Ouest-France naturally covers local news.

This gives each edition a unique lens, and you can learn a lot about a place simply by reading the edition of Ouest-France available at the nearby news kiosk.

Sud Ouest

french newspaper

History: In the same way Ouest-France is a newspaper that originated in the western departments of France, Sud Ouest is from the southwest (hence the name).

It was founded in 1944 in Bordeaux, and today it mainly serves Gironde, the Pyrénées Atlantiques, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Charente and Charente-Maritime.

Slant: Being a regional newspaper, Sud Ouest is politically neutral. There’s an opinion section where commentators from all along the political spectrum contribute, but on the whole, Sud Ouest doesn’t predominantly lean in one direction or the other.

Audience: This newspaper is a well-rounded offering that can be enjoyed by most readers. Being politically neutral, there aren’t too many polarizing opinions or biased coverage that will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

And since it’s regional, it’s also topical to readers who live or are interested in the southwest departments of France, and it could allow you to learn quite a bit about the happenings in the region.

La Presse

french newspaper

History: This next newspaper on our list comes to us from Montréal, Canada.

La Presse means “The Press,” and it was founded in 1884 as a physical daily newspaper.

Over the years, La Presse transitioned to a completely digital format, and today it can be found exclusively online as La Presse+.

Slant: Being one of the largest newspapers in Québec, La Presse has a pretty politically diverse slant. Rather than treading a neutral line for its readers, it features different columnists of varying political leanings, and over the years has supported legislation from all across the political spectrum. For example, it has been a supporter of both Canada’s Conservative Party and Liberal Party at differing times.

Audience: La Presse mostly targets an educated, urban, middle-class readership. While it offers news stories that cover various topics such as world events, local happenings, culture and lifestyle, it doesn’t often employ a tabloid-like style that’s common in working-class newspapers.

L’Express

french newspaper

History: L’Express is a shortened version of its former name, L’Express de Toronto, and even though it has lost the designation of its location, this newspaper caters to French speakers in Toronto, Canada as well as Francophone communities in the province of Ontario. It was founded in 1976.

Slant: Being a local newspaper, it doesn’t publicly endorse any political party or candidate. Rather, it takes a neutral route to reporting news with some commentators from all political stripes contributing.

However, due to the French language’s minority status in Ontario, the newspaper often takes a pro-French stance, supporting candidates that promise funding for French-language services and education. Recently, this has meant that L’Express has not been supportive of Ontario’s ruling Conservative Party who has slashed funding for such areas in recent years.

Audience: Since L’Express focuses on Toronto and the province of Ontario, the audience of the newspaper is urban French speakers. This newspaper also gives good insight into the happenings of the French communities in Toronto and Ontario at large.

Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

french newspaper

History: Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace (The Latest News from Alsace) is a regional newspaper that focuses on the French region of Alsace.

It was founded in 1877 with a focus on Alsace itself, a region with a unique blend of French and German influences that have historically spoken French and a dialect of German similar to Swiss German.

In fact, this newspaper was also published in Standard German until 2012.

Slant: Due to the unique culture of the Alsace region, this newspaper has often had a pro-Alsace stance. While it doesn’t explicitly express nationalist tendencies, it has been supportive of pro-Alsace candidates and those who seek to preserve the unique culture and status of the Alsace region.

Audience: Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace is a regional newspaper, so its primary readership are those who live or are interested in Alsace. This is a great resource for local news and happenings, and it would be a great way to learn about the region.

Le Canard enchaîné

french newspaper

History: This is a weekly newspaper that was founded in 1915 during the height of World War I.

Even though its name translates to “The Chained Duck,” the word canard is slang for “newspaper,” so it also has the meaning of “The Chained Paper.”

This is a nod to the French government’s censorship campaigns during the foundation of Le Canard enchaîné. Today, this newspaper’s primary purpose is satire and commentary, and it enjoys quite a large readership in France.

Slant: Historically, Le Canard enchaîné was tied to the communist and socialist movements in France during its founding, but for most of its publication, the newspaper has not had any formal political affiliation.

In fact, it makes a point to mock and criticize political candidates and parties of all stripes, so it’s quite politically neutral that way. It’s interesting to note, however, that the newspaper doesn’t accept any advertisements, and it has often been exceptionally critical of the clergy and upper class.

Audience: Since Le Canard enchaîné‘s primary function is to criticize French politics and French society at large, the newspaper’s audience tends to be politically active and fluent in the issues that France faces. As such, the audience can be categorized as middle class readers with some form of higher education.

Le Progrès

french newspaper

History: Le Progrès translates to “The Progress,” and this newspaper was founded in 1958.

It’s a regional paper that focuses on news and happenings related to the Rhône-Alpes region of France. With its headquarters in Lyon, it’s a very popular publication in that city as well as the region.

Slant: There’s no predominant political leaning in Le Progrès due to its function as a regional newspaper. It reports widely on happenings in the region and has columns and commentaries from contributors of all political leanings.

It did feature prominent journalist René Diaz who wrote for the newspapers for 30 years. Diaz’s work focused on the trials of former nazis. 

Audience: The audience of Le Progrès is notably inhabitants of the Rhône-Alpes region. There’s a lot of reporting related to local events, and the newspaper takes pride in featuring everyday people who call Rhône-Alpes home. It also has sections for culture, lifestyle and sports.

La Tribune

french newspaper

History: La Tribune was founded in 1985, and even though it’s a relatively new newspaper in relation to others on this list, it had a circulation of more than 500,000 in the year 2000.

The focus of this newspaper is business and the economy with its slogan being partageons l’économie (let’s share the economy). Fun fact: it had to be bailed out by the French government on two separate occasions, and in 2012, it switched to a weekly format.

Slant: The slant of this newspaper is fiscally conservative, given that it focuses primarily on business and the economy. That doesn’t mean that La Tribune is excessively or exclusively right-wing though.

Like other newspapers on our list, the opinion section is open to commentators that identify with various political ideologies.

Audience: It’s a well-known secret that La Tribune is in direct competition with the other top financial publication, Les Echos. As such, they have much of the same demographic: business class, educated, largely urban.

Courrier International

french newspaper

History: Courrier International (International Mail) is a newspaper that lives true to its name. It’s truly an international newspaper, as it’s published in three languages: French, Portuguese and Japanese.

Even the “mail” part is true: Courrier International collects and republishes excerpts from over 900 newspapers around the world. This model has proven particularly successful since it has allowed the newspaper to remain on top of developing stories.

Slant: Because of the international and varied nature of Courrier International, the political spectrum is particularly well-represented. In fact, news stories are often reported with viewpoints from multiple angles, allowing readers to get a well-rounded and complete view of a given situation.

The newspaper found itself in hot water, however, when it published a marketing campaign that featured shortened Twin Towers with the slogan apprendre à anticiper (learn to anticipate).

Audience: Again, due to its international nature, this newspaper is pretty accessible to all readers. Working, middle- and upper-class people alike read it to stay up-to-date with happenings in the world. It’s also a hit among the internationally-minded.

Nord Éclair

french newspaper

History: Nord Éclair translates to “North Lightning” in English, and that’s quite fitting because this newspaper is headquartered in the northern city of Roubaix, France.

Right along the border with Belgium, Nord Éclair was founded in 1944 with the purpose of relaying news for the French department of Nord. There’s also a Belgian edition of Nord Éclair that was founded in 1968.

Slant: Since this newspaper is regional to Nord, the political slant isn’t very apparent. There are commentators from time to time that take a stance on a particular issue, but Nord Éclair is pretty neutral most of the time. They cover local stories fairly evenly, and even local elections are reported on without much endorsement.

Audience: Like most newspapers on our list, the audience of Nord Éclair tends to be the inhabitants of the department of Nord.

There are local editions for the cities of Roubaix, Tourcoing, Lille, Lens and Béthune, each covering local happenings in those respective places. Each edition would be a great way to learn about these places and immerse in the unique culture along the France-Belgium border.

L’Est Républicain

french newspaper

History: L’Est Républicain (the Republican East) has quite a fascinating history. It was founded in 1889 by Léon Goulette, a French Republican.

Initially, the newspaper was founded to oppose Georges Boulanger, a French conservative quasi-dictator who riled support through anti-German sentiment.

After Boulanger’s death, the newspaper was shut down during the German occupation in World War II, and then grew steadily, creating the first Braille newspaper in Europe and acquiring other local publications in its home region of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

Slant: While initially a newspaper that opposed the right-wing tendencies of George Boulanger, L’Est Républicain has been all over the political spectrum over the years, with a particular focus on French sovereignty.

In recent years, it has maintained a somewhat balanced approach, taking on commentators from all political positions.

Audience: Despite coming from the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in northeastern France, L’Est Républicain is read throughout France and the French-speaking world. In fact, it was the first to publish a report on the supposed death of Osama bin Laden in 2006 and is since read by many throughout the world.

Le Devoir

french newspaper

History: Le Devoir is a newspaper that comes from Montréal, Canada. It was founded in 1910, and its name means “Duty.”

It was founded in the name of Québec nationalism and separatism, and even though that has softened over the years, the newspaper continues to support the recognition and inclusion of French-speaking people in Canada.

Today, Le Devoir faces challenges to its market share from other Québec newspapers such as La Presse, and it has seen a decrease in readership and revenue.

Slant: Historically, the focus of Le Devoir has been Québec nationhood, and it was very supportive of this position during the referendums that would make Québec an independent country from Canada during the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, it has taken a more left-wing stance advocating for pacifism, minimal military intervention abroad and social democracy.

Audience: Often regarded as a reformist newspaper, it’s widely read by Québeckers who are left-leaning or who advocate for the independence of Québec.

This tends to mean that the newspaper draws readers who are urban, educated and younger due to its left-leaning reporting, but it also draws in rural and older readers due to its continued ties with the separation of Québec from Canada.

La Libre

french newspaper

History: La Libre is a newspaper that’s published in Belgium.

Its name translates to “The Free,” and it was founded in 1884 under the name Le Patriote (the patriot). 

La Libre is notable for being one of the underground newspapers during World War I and World War II when German forces occupied all of Belgium. Today, La Libre is published six days a week, and it’s one of the top-selling French newspapers in Belgium alongside Le Soir.

Slant: When it was first published, Le Libre was known for its right-wing and Christian stance. While it has become more liberal over the years, it’s still considered to be more right-leaning than other major Belgian newspapers such as Le Soir.

Audience: Since La Libre caters to the French-speaking populations of Belgium, it typically pulls readers from the French region of Wallonia and the capital city of Brussels. As such, it focuses on news stories in the Wallonia region as well as from Brussels.

Furthermore, Brussels is the home of many prominent buildings for the European Union, and La Libre is read by internationally and Europe-minded individuals.

La Montagne

french newspaper

History: The translation of La Montagne in English is “The Mountain,” and that makes sense for this newspaper since it was founded in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, a place known for lakes, rivers and mountains.

It’s a daily newspaper that focuses on that region and was founded in 1919. Like other newspapers on our list, La Montagne was censored and eventually closed down during the German occupation of France during World War II. Since re-opening in 1944, it has remained a widely-read newspaper in the region with a circulation of almost 150,000 in 2020.

Slant: Even though it’s tempting to believe that this newspaper is named after the beautiful mountains of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, it was actually a nod to a political movement in France called The Mountain.

This movement was actually one of the major groups during the French Revolution, and the name was selected to show its alignment to the traditional values of the French Revolution itself. It has further been described as an independent and socialist publication.

Audience: Like many other newspapers on our list, it has softened its political position in the 21st century. Once a radical socialist newspaper, La Montagne today is more all-encompassing.

It definitely still leans left, but there are varying perspectives taken into account, and it focuses on news stories from the region, France and the world. Its audience tends to be left-minded individuals as well as educated middle-class people.

Le Journal du Dimanche

french newspaper

History: Le Journal du Dimanche is a newspaper that’s published once weekly on Sundays. That’s easy to remember because its name actually means “The Sunday Newspaper.”

It was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Paris, France. At its height, Le Journal du Dimanche had a circulation of more than 275,000. Today, it does pretty well with 150,000.

Slant: Due to its weekly nature, it’s often seen as a “Sunday round-up” of major news stories from France and around the world.

It tends to lean a little more right in nature but is largely seen as a neutral publication, reporting on happenings from various perspectives and employing commentators from multiple political positions. There’s a heavy focus on politics and the economy, though.

Audience: Most readers of Le Journal du Dimanche hail from the city of Paris or the surrounding areas. As such, readers of this newspaper are fairly urban, middle- to upper-class and internationally-minded. Many of the stories are the biggest news-makers of the week, so the newspaper has a degree of grandeur and prestige to it.

Les Dépêches de Brazzaville

french newspaper

History: The word dépêche in French means “telegram” or “wire,” so the name of this newspaper means “The Brazzaville Telegram” or “The Brazzaville Wire.”

This newspaper is headquartered in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo. French has become a lingua franca in the Republic of the Congo since French colonization of the country in the 1800s. As such, it acts as a principal language for newspapers such as Les Dépêches de Brazzaville. The newspaper is published and owned by French journalist Jean-Paul Pigasse.

Slant: Media is heavily censored in the Republic of the Congo. For example, during the 2009 national elections, journalists from major worldwide news agencies such as the BBC and Radio France International were harassed and assaulted by government forces for their coverage.

As such, print media is filtered through the government before publication. Because of this, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville offers a rather positive view of the government and the state of the country, ignoring much of the reality and hardship that the everyday Congolese face. 

Audience: In addition to media censorship, the literacy rate of the Republic of the Congo is rather low. In fact, many Congolese citizens listen to their media on the radio or on TV instead of reading it. Those who can read are typically the minority middle- and upper-class citizens. These readers tend to be educated, urban and relatively more financially successful than the everyday citizen.

France-Soir

french newspaper

History: France-Soir, which means “France Evening” in French, has had a rather turbulent history as a newspaper.

It was founded as an underground newspaper called Défense de la France (Defence of France) in 1941 during World War II when France was solidly occupied by German forces.

After France’s liberation, the readership of France-Soir exploded, with a circulation of over 1.5 million. By 2011, readership plummeted to 30,000, and the newspaper closed and relaunched as an online-only enterprise in 2013.

Slant: France-Soir has adopted various political leanings over the years, but today it can be described as predominantly right-wing. Recently, it has been accused of publishing conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, NewsGuard, a company that rates the journalistic integrity of newspapers and other media agencies, has said that the newspaper no longer adheres to widely accepted journalistic standards.

Audience: Despite a lower readership than it had during its inception, France-Soir remains read by working-class people. Readers are also typically conspiracy-minded and are prone to distrust what they perceive to be “big media” organizations. This newspaper, however, would be an interesting way to get a non-mainstream perspective on news and happenings in France and throughout the world.

La Provence

french newspaper

History: La Provence is published in Marseille, France. It was founded in 1997, and it focuses primarily on local news to the Marseille and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Since 2013, the newspaper has been solely owned by businessman Bernard Tapie. He has been in hot water at various points of his career, himself a member of the Parti radical du gauche (Radical Party of the Left), and has been accused of swaying the direction of the newspaper based on his political views.

As of 2020, La Provence has a circulation of more than 81,000.

Slant: Due to Bernard Tapie’s purchase of the newspaper, the slant has tilted to center-left in recent years. Bernard Tapie was also a politician before buying the newspaper, so one can expect that his publication often pushes and publishes stories that align with his political views. That said, the newspaper does have an opinions section, and writers from all political positions have written for the paper.

Audience: Since La Provence is focused on Marseille and the surrounding area, most of its audience are members of those communities. It also attracts readers of a left-wing political position as well as those interested in France’s southeastern region. It would be a great newspaper for those looking to learn more about local news in Marseille and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur as a whole.

Le Soleil

french newspaper

History: Le Soleil means “The Sun” in French, and it’s a daily newspaper based in Québec City, Canada. It was founded in 1896 and is a fairly local publication, available on newsstands mostly in Québec City, Montréal and Ottawa.

Le Soleil came from a previous newspaper called L’Électeur, which was the official newspaper for the Liberal Party of Canada at the time.

In 1973, Le Soleil avoided being bought by the Power Corporation of Canada, a move that would have seen more than 70% of Québec’s French media owned by a single company, only to be successfully bought by that company in 1987. Today, readership of the newspaper is around 90,000.

Slant: Being originally a newspaper for the Liberal Party of Canada, it’s safe to say that this newspaper politically leans to the left. The newspaper did officially cut ties with the Liberal Party back in 1957, but it still retains its strong ties of liberal thought and left-wing politics.

Audience: Due to this newspaper’s relatively concentrated availability, most readers are from Québecois urban centers. As such, these readers tend to be more left-leaning, educated and middle class, and less likely to want Québec to be independent from Canada. This newspaper would be a great way to get a glimpse into contemporary urban life in Québec.

L’Avenir

french newspaper

History: Based in Belgium, this newspaper’s name means “The Future” in English. It was originally founded in Namur, Belgium in 1918.

Before L’Avenir, the newspaper was called L’Ami de l’Ordre (Friend of the Order) and was a Catholic newspaper that had been in publication since 1839. But after the Germans occupied Belgium during World War I, L’Ami de l’Ordre changed its name to L’Avenir and shed its collaboration and allegiance to the German Army that had occupied the country.

Today, the newspaper publishes nine distinct editions for various French-speaking locations in Belgium and has a circulation of 94,000.

Slant: Since each edition of this newspaper is specific to a city or region in Belgium, a predominant political position isn’t evident. It features news stories and opinion pieces specific to whichever region the edition is for. It does, however, hold a pro-French stance because it’s in the French-speaking region of Belgium.

Audience: Like its slant, L’Avenir‘s audience is specific to the regions and cities that each edition is available in. These readers tend to be interested in local news and happenings. This newspaper would be great if you want to get a more in-depth look at Wallonia as well as the locales within that region of Belgium.

Le Temps

french newspaper

History: Le Temps is the only newspaper on our list to come from Switzerland. It’s published in Lausanne, Switzerland and is the only nationwide French daily newspaper in the country, focusing on its French-speaking population.

It was founded in 1998 and brings together the writing of over 100 columnists and reporters throughout Switzerland, Europe and the world.

In fact, Le Temps frequently collaborates with other newspapers on this list, such as Le Courrier InternationalLe Monde and La Tribune. It has a readership of about 30,000.

Slant: Le Temps is often regarded as a politically center newspaper. As such, it treads the line between the two political positions rather successfully, though it has at times been called a socially liberal newspaper.

Audience: Due to the fact that it’s one of the only French newspapers in Switzerland, its audience is typically the French speakers of the country. French is spoken by around 22% of the Swiss population, but its citizens are nevertheless politically involved and socially aware.

Le Temps also hosts a variety of European and world news, therefore it’s great for internationally-minded individuals.

 

Extra, extra! It’s time to read all about it! Choose a French newspaper, binge on the latest happenings and master French all at the same time.

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