Le Figaro

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Le Figaro
Le Figaro front page.jpg
Front page of 22 November 2015
Type Daily newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner(s) Dassault Group
EditorAlexis Brézet
FoundedJanuary 15, 1826;193 years ago (1826-01-15)
Political alignment
Headquarters Paris
Circulation 313 541 (Print, 2018)
84,000 (Digital, 2018) [3]
ISSN 0182-5852
Website www.lefigaro.fr

Le Figaro (French pronunciation:  [lə fiɡaʁo] ) is a French daily morning newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. [4] Le Figaro is the oldest national daily in France and is one of the three French newspapers of record, along with Le Monde and Libération . [4]

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, as well as the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018. The city is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015.

Newspaper of record major newspapers that are considered authoritative

A newspaper of record is a major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered authoritative. A newspaper of record may also be a publicly available newspaper that has been authorised or maintained by a government to publish public or legal notices, and therefore serves as a "newspaper of public record".


With its center-right editorial line, Le Figaro is the second-largest national newspaper in France after Le Parisien and before Le Monde , although some regional papers such as Ouest-France have larger circulations. In 2012, the paper had an average circulation of 330,952 copies per issue. [5] The paper is published in the berliner format, switching from a broadsheet in 2009.

<i>Le Parisien</i> newspaper

Le Parisien is a French daily newspaper covering both international and national news, and local news of Paris and its suburbs. It is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, better known as LVMH.

<i>Le Monde</i> French daily evening newspaper

Le Monde is a French daily afternoon newspaper founded by Hubert Beuve-Méry at the request of Charles de Gaulle on 19 December 1944, shortly after the Liberation of Paris, and published continuously since its first edition.

<i>Ouest-France</i> French newspaper

Ouest-France is a daily French newspaper known for its emphasis on both local and national news. The paper is produced in 47 different editions covering events in different French départments within the régions of Brittany, Lower Normandy and Pays de la Loire. Its readership has been unaffected by the decline of newspaper reading in France, unlike most other dailies. With 2.5 million daily readers, it is by far the most read francophone newspaper in the world, ahead of French national newspapers Le Figaro and Le Monde.

The newspaper has been owned by Dassault Group since 2004 [6] whose publications include TV Magazine and Evene .

Dassault Group French group of companies

Dassault Group is a France-based group of companies established in 1929 with the creation of Dassault Aviation by Marcel Dassault, and led by son Serge Dassault with cofounder of Dassault Systèmes Charles Edelstenne, and currently Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO is Éric Trappier.

TV Magazine is a weekly French television listings magazine, owned by the Le Figaro group.

Evene.fr is a French cultural website. In 2007 it was acquired by Groupe Le Figaro.


6th issue, 20 January 1826 Premier numero du Figaro.jpg
6th issue, 20 January 1826
Share of the Societe du Figaro, issued 13 June 1923 Figaro 1923.JPG
Share of the Société du Figaro, issued 13 June 1923
Front page of Le Figaro, 4 August 1914 Figaro 4 aout 1914.jpg
Front page of Le Figaro, 4 August 1914
Figaro Illustre 01-08-1906 Figaro Illustre No197, 01-08-1906.jpg
Figaro Illustré 01-08-1906

Le Figaro was founded as a satirical weekly in 1826, [7] [8] taking its name and motto from Le Mariage de Figaro , the 1778 play by Pierre Beaumarchais that poked fun at privilege. Its motto, from Figaro's monologue in the play's final act, is "Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n'est point d'éloge flatteur" ("Without the freedom to criticise, there is no true praise"). In 1833, editor Nestor Roqueplan fought a duel with a Colonel Gallois, who was offended by an article in Le Figaro, and was wounded but recovered. [9] Albert Wolff, Émile Zola, Alphonse Karr, and Jules Claretie were among the paper's early contributors. It was published somewhat irregularly until 1854, when it was taken over by Hippolyte de Villemessant.

Motto Short sentence expressing a motivation

A motto is a maxim; a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usually found predominantly in written form, and may stem from long traditions of social foundations, or from significant events, such as a civil war or a revolution. A motto may be in any language, but Latin has been widely used, especially in the Western world.

Pierre Beaumarchais French playwright diplomat and polymath

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was a French polymath. At various times in his life, he was a watchmaker, inventor, playwright, musician, diplomat, spy, publisher, horticulturist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary.

Nestor Roqueplan journalist, theatre director

Louis-Victor-Nestor Roqueplan [also sometimes spelled Rocoplan] was a French writer, journalist, and theatre director.

In 1866, Le Figaro became a daily newspaper. [10] Its first daily edition, that of 16 November 1866, sold 56,000 copies, having highest circulation of any newspaper in France. Its editorial line was royalist. [11] Pauline Savari was among the contributors to the paper at this time.

Pauline Savari French novelist

Pauline Savari, was a French novelist, dramatist, journalist, stage actress, opera singer and feminist.

On 16 March 1914, Gaston Calmette, the editor of Le Figaro, was assassinated by Henriette Caillaux, the wife of Finance Minister Joseph Caillaux, after he published a letter that cast serious doubt on her husband's integrity. [12] In 1922, Le Figaro was purchased by perfume millionaire François Coty. [13] Abel Faivre did cartoons for the paper. [14] Coty enraged many when he renamed the paper simply Figaro, which it remained until 1933. [15]

Gaston Calmette French journalist

Gaston Calmette was a French journalist and newspaper editor.

Henriette Caillaux second wife of the former Prime Minister of France

Henriette Caillaux was a Parisian socialite and second wife of the former Prime Minister of France, Joseph Caillaux. On March 16, 1914, she shot and killed Gaston Calmette, editor of the newspaper Le Figaro.

Joseph Caillaux French politician

Joseph-Marie–Auguste Caillaux was a French politician of the Third Republic. He was a leader of the French Radical party and minister of finance, but his progressive views in opposition to the military alienated him from conservative elements. He was accused of corruption, but was cleared by a parliamentary commission. This political weakness strengthened the right wing elements in the radical party.

By the start of World War II, Le Figaro had become France's leading newspaper. After the war, it became the voice of the upper middle class, and continues to maintain a conservative position.

In 1975, Le Figaro was bought by Robert Hersant's Socpresse. In 1999, the Carlyle Group obtained a 40% stake in the paper, which it later sold in March 2002. Since March 2004, Le Figaro has been controlled by Serge Dassault, [7] a conservative businessman and politician best known for running the aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, which he inherited from his father, its founder, Marcel Dassault (1892–1986). Dassault owns 80% of the paper. [7]

In 2006, Le Figaro was banned in Egypt and Tunisia for publishing articles allegedly insulting Islam. [16] [17]

Le Figaro switched to Berliner format in 2009. [18] The paper has published The New York Times International Weekly on Friday since 2009, an 8-page supplement featuring a selection of articles from The New York Times translated into French. In 2010, Lefigaro.fr created a section called Le Figaro in English, [19] which provides the global English-speaking community with daily original or translated content from Le Figaro’s website. The section ended in 2012. [20]

Editorial stance and controversies

Le Figaro has traditionally held a conservative editorial stance, becoming the voice of the French upper and middle classes. [6]

The newspaper's ownership by Serge Dassault has been a source of controversy in terms of conflict-of-interest, as Dassault also owns a major military supplier and has served in political positions from the Union for a Popular Movement party. His son Olivier Dassault is a member of the French National Assembly. [21] Dassault has remarked in an interview in 2004 on the public radio station France Inter that "newspapers must promulgate healthy ideas" and that "left-wing ideas are not healthy ideas." [22]

In February 2012, a general assembly of the newspaper's journalists adopted a motion accusing the paper's managing editor, Étienne Mougeotte, of having made Le Figaro into the "bulletin" of the governing party, the Union for a Popular Movement, of the government and of President Nicolas Sarkozy. They requested more pluralism and "honesty" and accused the paper of one-sided political reporting. Mougeotte had previously said that Le Figaro would do nothing to embarrass the government and the right. [23] [24] [25] Mougeotte publicly replied: "Our editorial line pleases our readers as it is, it works. I don't see why I should change it. [...] We are a right-wing newspaper and we express it clearly, by the way. Our readers know it, our journalists too. There's nothing new to that!" [1]

Circulation history

In the period of 1995–96, the paper had a circulation of 391,533 copies, behind Le Parisien 's 451,159 copies. [5]


See also

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  1. 1 2 ""Le Figaro" : Mougeotte répond aux critiques de ses journalistes", Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 February 2012
  2. 1 2 Raymond Kuh,The Media in France. Routledge, London and New York, 1995. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  3. Le Figaro internationalmediasales.net
  4. 1 2 "Le Figaro - French newspaper".
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  6. 1 2 "The press in France". 11 November 2006 via news.bbc.co.uk.
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  8. "Media Landscape Media Claims" (PDF). European Social Survey. May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
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  11. Alan Grubb, The Politics of Pessimism: Albert de Broglie and Conservative Politics in the Early Third Republic
  12. Sarah Sissmann and Christophe Barbier, "Une épouse outragée" Archived 3 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine , L'Express , 30 August 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  13. Janet Flanner (3 May 1930),"Perfume and Politics", The New Yorker . Republished 7 May 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  14. "Deposit Your Gold for France. Gold Fights for Victory". World Digital Library . 1915. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  15. Roulhac Toledano, Elizabeth Z. Coty, “Napoleon of the Press” ,"François Coty: Fragrance, Power, Money". Retrieved 28 May 2018
  16. "The impact of blasphemy laws on human Rights" (Policy Brief). Freedom House. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  17. "Tunisia, Egypt ban newspaper editions on controversy over pope's comments". CPJ. New York. 27 September 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  18. "Le Figaro". Euro Topics. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
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  20. "Mon Figaro - This Week's Top Stories from France". Le Figaro. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  21. "Dassault se sépare d'Yves de Chaisemartin", Le Figaro, 1 October 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  22. "M. Dassault veut une presse aux « idées saines »", Le Monde , 12 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  23. ""Le Figaro" n'est pas "le bulletin d'un parti"", Le Monde , 9 February 2012
  24. "La question du jour. "Le Figaro" est-il un journal d'opinion ou un "bulletin" de l'UMP?", Le Nouvel Observateur , 10 February 2012
  25. "Présidentielle : les journalistes du Figaro réclament un journal plus « honnête »", Rue89, 9 February 2012

Further reading