Monday, November 29, 2004

Left leaning press in France in decline

This sounds familiar:
Le Monde, like other French national dailies, has been experiencing financial hardship of late.

It has cut 90 staff after newsstand sales fell by more than 10 percent in a year to bring circulation down to around 340,000, and is looking for an investor to take a one-third stake for around EUR 50 million (USD 67 million).

It also had its reputation as a paper of reference badly damaged by a book, "The Hidden Face of Le Monde", published last year with allegations of bias, editorial arrogance and ambitions of influencing politics rather than reporting it. The newspaper strongly rejected the attacks.

Le Monde's rivals are faring little better in the marketplace.

Cash-strapped Liberation, which puts itself further to the left, fears its own independence may be called into question if a businessman, Edouard de Rothschild, sees through plans to grab a third of its capital in return for EUR 20 million (USD 27 million).

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