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2008/05/01

Le Monde: created in 1944 on the orders of General Charles de Gaulle to be the "conscience of France"

Speaking of Le Monde's birth and origins in an article on the financial difficulties of le quotidien de référence, the New York Times' Doreen Carvajal describes it as having been
created in 1944 on the orders of General Charles de Gaulle to be the "conscience of France".
Le Monde Watch had more details during the 60th anniversary of the daily whose motto is: "Indépendant depuis sa création".


That vow ["I will present the full information. I will force them to read me!"] is made by the first director of Le Monde as he is given the mission to create a newspaper of reference worthy to represent France abroad.
Huh? "Is given"? "The mission"? "To create" not a newspaper but "a newspaper of reference"? "Worthy" not to bring the news but "to represent France abroad"? What's going on here?!…

Incidentally, the New York Times' Doreen Carvajal seems to put the lie to the idea that, at least newspaper-wise, those nuanced Français are far more well-read, far more cultivated, and far more knowledgeable than those clueless Ricains.
Over the years, the French newspaper culture has been relatively weak compared with that in some other countries — 181 of 1,000 people subscribe to newspapers in France compared with 371 in Germany and 274 in the United States, according to figures from the World Association of Newspapers, based in Paris.