Welcome back to our little survey of French newspapers. In part 1, I briefly went over the different sections found in most newspapers to help you quickly locate the content you want to read. Today, we’ll be looking at two French newspapers that you are bound to find at any sidewalk café, kiosque (newsstand), gare (train station), aéroport (airport), station de métro (metro station), etc. Both of these papers are considered authoritative and have garnered a wide lectorat (readership) thanks to high quality journalism.
The aptly named Le Monde (The World) is one of the most widely read journaux (newspapers) in France and throughout the world. It began circulating in 1944 when Général Charles de Gaulle requested a new newspaper to replace the aging Le Temps (The Time) which had been France’s premier newspaper up to that point.
Published daily, Le Monde has over 300,000 subscribers and is available in many pays étrangers (foreign countries). The paper was brought into the digital realm in 1995 with its own website lemonde.fr. The site is easy to navigate and covers a wide range of topics including Idées (Ideas), Planète (Planet), Vous (You), Campus (geared towards students) and more. Each section has several subsections so you never run out of reading material. Mises à jour (updates) to the websites occur every few minutes so you will always have access to the latest news.
My personal favorite, Le Figaro has a more conservative penchant than Le Monde and began circulating in 1826 which makes it by far the oldest French newspaper. It began as a weekly satirical paper and is currently the second largest newspaper in France with a readership of almost 400,000.
Like Le Monde, Le Figaro has an excellent website at lefigaro.fr. that is both informative and entertaining. Sections such as Santé (Health), Bourse (Stock Exchange), Enchères (Auctions), Étudiant (Student) and Vin (Wine) offer le lecteur (the reader) choices they might not find on similar news websites. Le Figaro even has a small assortment of magazines like Le Figaro Magazine and Madame Figaro, each of which explores subjects in greater depth than those found in the newspaper.
So go ahead and visit the websites of Le Monde and Le Figaro, read up on some of the latest news en français bien sûr (in French of course), and maybe even consider un abonnement digital (digital subscription) that you’ll be able to access on your phone, tablet and computer. You’ll enjoy both the great journalism and hone your reading comprehension skills at the same time.