A malaise that goes back more than 300 yearsis the way that The Economist styles its article on French newspapers, Too close to power.
Christophe Deloire, director of the Centre for Journalist Training in Paris, traces the problem to France’s first newspaper, La Gazette, founded in 1631 under the auspices of Cardinal Richelieu. Since then “the French press has been dependent on power,” he says; this has blunted its edge.While another article reminds us that it was it was the country's ruler(s), in the form of "Charles de Gaulle [himself, who] called for the launch of Le Monde, first published in 1944, to replace Le Temps," one French reader writes that
French unions and government have killed their print media. The government almost edits the papers; it controls far too much. People will eventually realize they need a democracy without the enarques running everything.