Le Figaro (French pronunciation: [lə fiɡaʁo]) is a French
daily morning newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. Le
Figaro is the oldest national daily in France and is one of the two
French newspapers of record, along with Le Monde.
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. The paper is published in the berliner format,
switching from a broadsheet in 2009.
The newspaper is owned by
Le Figaro Group, whose publications include
TV Magazine and Evene. The company's chairman is Serge Dassault, whose
Dassault Group has controlled the paper since 2004.
3 Editorial stance and controversies
4 Circulation history
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
6th issue, 20 January 1826
Share of the Société du Figaro, issued 13 June 1923
Front page of Le Figaro, 4 August 1914
Figaro Illustré 01-08-1906
Le Figaro was founded as a satirical weekly in 1826, 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. 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.
Le Figaro became a daily newspaper. 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
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. In 1922,
Le Figaro was purchased by
perfume millionaire François Coty.
Abel Faivre did cartoons for
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.
Le Figaro was bought by Robert Hersant's Socpresse. In 1999,
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, 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.
Le Figaro was banned in
Tunisia for publishing
articles allegedly insulting Islam.
Le Figaro switched to Berliner format in 2009. The paper has
The New York Times
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
Le Figaro in English, which provides the global
English-speaking community with daily original or translated content
from Le Figaro’s website. The section ended in 2012.
Logo during the 1820s
Logo since the 1920s
Editorial stance and controversies
Le Figaro has traditionally held a conservative editorial stance,
becoming the voice of the French upper and middle classes.
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
Union for a Popular Movement party. His son
Olivier Dassault is a
member of the French National Assembly. 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."
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. 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!"
In the period of 1995–96, the paper had a circulation of 391,533
copies, behind Le Parisien's 451,159 copies.
^ a b ""Le Figaro" : Mougeotte répond aux critiques de ses
journalistes", Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 February 2012
^ a b Raymond Kuh,The Media in France. Routledge, London and New York,
1995. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
Le Figaro media kit 2015 v3" (PDF). September 2015. Retrieved 5
^ a b "
Le Figaro - French newspaper".
^ a b Media Policy: Convergence, Concentration & Commerce. SAGE
Publications. 24 September 1998. p. 10.
ISBN 978-1-4462-6524-6. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
^ a b "The press in France". 11 November 2006 – via
^ a b c "The press in France". BBC. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 22
^ "Media Landscape Media Claims" (PDF). European Social Survey. May
2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 12
^ Millingen, J.G. (2004). The History of Dueling Including Narratives
of the Most Remarkable Encounters.
^ "Historical development of the media in France" (PDF). McGraw-Hill
Education. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
^ Alan Grubb, The Politics of Pessimism: Albert de Broglie and
Conservative Politics in the Early Third Republic
^ 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.
^ Janet Flanner (3 May 1930),"Perfume and Politics", The New Yorker.
Republished 7 May 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
^ "Deposit Your Gold for France. Gold Fights for Victory". World
Digital Library. 1915. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
^ "The impact of blasphemy laws on human Rights" (Policy Brief).
Freedom House. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
Egypt ban newspaper editions on controversy over pope's
comments". CPJ. New York. 27 September 2006. Retrieved 29 September
^ "Le Figaro". Euro Topics. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
^ "Mon Figaro - Cercle -
Le Figaro in English - articles". Le Figaro.
Retrieved 5 July 2012.
^ "Mon Figaro - This Week's Top Stories from France". Le Figaro. 26
April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
^ "Dassault se sépare d'Yves de Chaisemartin", Le Figaro, 1 October
2004. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
^ "M. Dassault veut une presse aux « idées saines »", Le
Monde, 12 December 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
^ ""Le Figaro" n'est pas "le bulletin d'un parti"", Le Monde, 9
^ "La question du jour. "Le Figaro" est-il un journal d'opinion ou un
"bulletin" de l'UMP?", Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 February 2012
^ "Présidentielle : les journalistes du Figaro réclament un
journal plus « honnête »", Rue89, 9 February 2012
Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies:
profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 124–29
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Le Figaro.
Le Figaro website (in French)
Le Figaro digital archives from 1826 to 1942 in Gallica, the digital
library of the BnF
Main newspapers and news magazines in France
La Dépêche du Midi
La Voix du Nord
Le Figaro Magazine
Le Journal du dimanche
Le Canard enchaîné
Le Canard enchaîné
Le Nouvel Économiste
Le Monde diplomatique
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