Le Monde

Last updated

Le Monde
Le Monde.svg
Une Le Monde.jpg
First issue on 19 December 1944
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Berliner [1]
Owner(s) Groupe Le Monde
PublisherLouis Dreyfus
Editor Jérôme Fenoglio
Staff writers165
Founded1944;80 years ago (1944)
  • French
  • English (digital translation) [2] [3]
Headquarters67–69 Avenue Pierre Mendès-France
75707 Paris Cedex 13
Circulation 479,243 (total, 2022) [4]
360,000 (digital, 2020) [4]
ISSN 0395-2037  (print)
1950-6244  (web)
OCLC number 833476932
Website lemonde.fr

Le Monde (French: [mɔ̃d] ; French for 'The World') is a French daily afternoon newspaper. It is the main publication of Le Monde Group and reported an average circulation of 480,000 copies per issue in 2022, including 40,000 sold abroad. It has been available online since 1995, and it 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 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 uphold 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. It de-emphasized maximum coverage of the news in favor of thoughtful interpretation of current events. In recent years the paper has established a greater distinction between fact and opinion. [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 has 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 debts it took on to fund this expansion, and it sought new investors in 2010 to keep the company from 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]

In November 2023, Le Monde joined with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Paper Trail Media  [ de ] and 69 media partners including Distributed Denial of Secrets and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and more than 270 journalists in 55 countries and territories [18] [19] to produce the 'Cyprus Confidential' report on the financial network which supports the regime of Vladimir Putin, mostly with connections to Cyprus, and showed Cyprus to have strong links with high-up figures in the Kremlin, some of whom have been sanctioned. [20] [21] Government officials including Cyprus president Nikos Christodoulides [22] and European lawmakers [23] began responding to the investigation's findings in less than 24 hours, [24] calling for reforms and launching probes. [25] [26]

Le Monde is regarded as France's leading newspaper of record. [27] [28]


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. [29] [30]

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. [31] It is among the 50 most visited websites in France. [32]

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 Monde.fr". On 10 April 2019, Le Monde announced that it would be closing its blog platform on 5 June 2019. [33] [34] Although the reasons for the closing of the blogs were unclear, it could be linked to the dominance of social networks like Facebook. [35]

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. [36] 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). [37]

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

Total circulation390,840392,772405,983407,069389,249371,803360,610350,039358,655340,131323,039319,022325,295318,236303,432298,529292,054289,555

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. [38]


2013 Yasmina Reza at XIII Prix Dialogo - Ceremonia de entrega.jpg Yasmina Reza Heureux les heureux Éditions Stock A "prix étranger" was also awarded to
Kevin Powers for The Yellow Birds
2014 Emmanuel Carrere redux.jpg Emmanuel Carrère Le Royaume Éditions P.O.L [40]
2015 Agnes Desarthe (2018).jpg Agnès Desarthe Ce cœur changeant Éditions de l'Olivier [41]
2016 Jablonka au festival de Brive 2016.jpg Ivan Jablonka Laëtitia ou la Fin des hommes Éditions du Seuil [42]
2017 Paris - Salon du livre 2013 - Alice Zeniter - 001.jpg Alice Zeniter L'Art de perdre Éditions Flammarion [43]
2018 Jerome Ferrari 2010 (crop).jpg Jérôme Ferrari À son image Actes Sud [44]
2019 Cecile Coulon redux.jpg Cécile Coulon Une bête au paradis Éditions de l'Iconoclaste [45]
2020 Francesca Serra (2020).png Francesca Serra Elle a menti pour les ailes Éditions Anne Carrière [46]
2021 Jean-Claude Grumberg par Claude Truong-Ngoc novembre 2013.jpg Jean-Claude Grumberg Jacqueline JacquelineÉditions du Seuil [47]
2022Mathieu BeleziAttaquer la terre et le soleilLe Tripode [48]
Neige Sinno.jpg
Neige SinnoTriste TigreÉditions P.O.L [49]

See also

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  49. "Neige Sinno remporte le prix littéraire « Le Monde » 2023 pour « Triste tigre »". Le Monde.fr (in French). 6 September 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.

Further reading