Le Monde

Media format : Printed Press, Internet

Frequency : Daily

Geographical distribution area : National

Geographical area : France

Website : www.lemonde.fr

Media language : French

Country : France

City : Paris

Address : 80 bd Auguste Blanqui, 75013 Paris

Created : 18 décembre 1944, daté du 19 décembre

Owner : Le monde libre

Status : Limited company with Directorate and Supervisory Board

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Editorial Director : Louis Dreyfus

Director of Le Monde : Gilles van Kotte

Managing Editor : Jérôme Fenoglio

Associate Managing Editors : Luc Bronner, Arnaud Leparmentier et Cécile Prieur

Editors-in-Chief : Christian Massol, Julien Laroche-Joubert, Arnaud Leparmentier, Cécile Prieur, Nabil Wakim

Editor-in-Chief of M le magazine du Monde : Marie-Pierre Lannelongue

Editor-in-Chief of lemonde.fr subscriber edition : Vincent Fagot

Mediator : Pascal Galinier

Some figures…

Capital holding : Le monde libre, the company created by Pierre Bergé, Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel, has been the major controller of the Group’s capital since 2010.

Turnover : not public

Revenue from advertising : makes up about 25% of the turnover and advertisements make up about 20% of the space in the newspaper.

Total circulation : 301 757 copies, 274 887 are paid for (OJD 2013/2014)

Staff : Figures not available

Publication : Daily afternoon newspaper, dated the next day, appearing six days a week with a weekend edition

Production unit : Le Monde Imprimerie at Vitry sur Seine

Distribution area : National

Advertising Agency : Le Monde Publicité, held 51% by Le Monde and 49% by Publicis press agency.

Background :

The daily newspaper was created by Hubert Beuve-Méry in December 1944 at the request of General De Gaulle. France needed a quality newspaper, particularly one with an international outlook. It succeeded Le Temps (Time) which had stopped publication in 1942.

The newspaper’s salaried members of staff play an important role in its management. The Association of Editors was formed in 1951, and employee and senior manager associations were created in 1968.

In 2010. salaried staff when threatened with bankruptcy, retained only a minority of the stock.

Despite numerous threats to its survival in the last ten years, the newspaper remains one of the points of reference for newspapers in France.

In May 2014, seven editors have suddenly resigned in order to protest against the lack of trust demonstrated by the hierarchy, during the restructuration’s conflict.

In July 2014, a decision was announced about closing the printing house next year.

Print version

Complete answers

1.1. – Internal Code or charter? : Yes

The ‘le monde libre’ company which took over the majority capital share of the Group added an ethical code to the newspaper’s Statutes/Articles of Association at the end of 2010.

This Charter for personal ethics and professional standards replaces the style guide which had been drawn up by the newspaper’s management at the beginning of the millennium and updated in 2004. It is made up of two parts: a set of professional rules specific to the newspaper and a set of very precise rules relating to vocabulary and typography.

The style guide, intended mainly for journalists, was sold in newspaper kiosques while the charter is now available on the internet.

1.2. – How is their application monitored? : A formal procedure

The committees for personal ethics and professional standards monitor the application of these rules in the various publications and sites of the Group. They cannot comment on the content of an article or sanction journalists.

The committee dedicated to the daily newspaper is made up of two representatives from Le Monde’s Association of Editors (SRM), and one representative each from the Association of Senior Managers and Employees (SRMIA), Association of Editors from Le Monde Interactive and the Association of Readers of Le Monde. Also represented are the newspaper’s Director, Editorial head, two independent, qualified individuals nominated by the Monitoring Committee of the SEM, and a person nominated by the Association of Readers of Le Monde.

2.1. – Journalist associations inside the media? : Yes

The Association of Editors for Le Monde (SRM - Société des Rédacteurs du Monde) is a participative association created in 1951. It has been the reference for the group for some time. It closely monitors editorial choices, how news is dealt with and questions of professional standards.

It has no power of sanction and since the arrival of new shareholders, the association is slowly losing its influence.

2.2. – What mechanisms are there to evaluate already published material? : Nothing formal but…

Debriefings take place during midday editorial meetings, afternoon update meetings and the 7.30 ‘fine-tuning’ meetings.

2.3. – Which systems are in place to identify and correct errors? Fact checking? : Intense reviewing system

Each article is reread three or four times by the hierarchy and the editorial department before it is published.

Once the newspaper has been published, errors are reported via the Readers’ Letters page and are passed on by the mediator to the department concerned which then writes a correction or a clarification.

3.1. – What is the relationship between editorial values and advertising content? : There are no formal rules

Some advertising may be refused.

3.2. – What arbitration systems are in place for disputes? : Association of Editors and general management

Traditionally, the head of the Association of Editors is asked to give their opinion. A discussion takes place between the Editorial and Advertising departments, and the general management decides when there are disputes.

3.3. – What is the structure for sponsorships and editorial partnerships? : This is controlled by Editorial

Partnerships are usually handled by the individual journalist so, for instance, a music journalist can propose a partnership with a concert.

4.1. – How are press trips and embedded journalists managed? : It depends on the department

An editorial committee has been put in place to discuss the question of press trips. There are no formal rules. Practices vary according to the department – the Politics department refuses all trips but this does not apply to other departments. The Tourism department applies rules to explain how articles are put together.

Any journalist can refuse to take part in a press trip without justifying why. Taking part in a press trip should not commit a journalist to write an article and if an article is written, it will never include a reference to ‘special correspondent’

4.2. – How are conflicts of interests with the owner resolved? : There are various measures

If a member of the monitoring committee is named in an article, their position at the heart of the newspaper is clarified.

If a group which is part of Le Monde is quoted in an article, we indicate its structural links with the newspaper.

However, nothing is specified regarding advertising or commercial agreements.

4.3. – How are political and economic pressures managed? : Nothing is formalised

4.4. – How is general news or “news in brief” treated? : Nothing is formalised

Names are provided in accordance with the law.

When a person is taken into custody and still presumed innocent, their name is also published.

4.5. – What criteria are there for the publication of photos/ transmission of filmed images? : Nothing is formalised

The newspaper does not hold any photos internally.

It is forbidden to retouch any photos.

4.6. – How are amateur photos or videos treated? : These are accepted but not paid for

There is a system of appealing for eyewitness accounts. The authenticity of amateur documents is checked like any other information. No remuneration is provided.

4.7. – What is the status of permanent or freelance journalist blogs? : The rules are currently being clarified.

The same newspaper rules apply to blogs affiliated with Le Monde.fr. A reviewing procedure by the department heads is being put in place with the bi-media editorial re-organisation. This is already the case for political blogs, in anticipation of the coming presidential election.

A user guide for social networks is being drawn up.

4.8. – What are the conditions for working undercover? : This is not allowed

Working without revealing your identity as a journalist is considered a professional offence, unless the journalist’s life is in danger.

5.1. – What form of mediation is there with the public? Is there an ombudsman? : Yes

The post of mediator was created in 1994 and awarded at the time to the former newspaper manager André Laurens.

The newspaper reiterates on its site that “The mediator is a receiver (of complaints, criticisms and suggestions), an intermediary (between our readers and the newspaper) and a sort of arbitrator“.

There are different recourses of action: readers’ letters, a column in the weekend edition and a blog named « Le Monde of the readers » mediateur.blog.lemonde.fr

5.2. – Is there a section for public comments? : Only on the internet edition

Readers’ letters are accessible to everybody but subscribers can fill in a form on-line if they wish to react to an article that appears in the newspaper. This space is monitored by the mediator.

5.3. – How is the ‘right of reply’ managed? : This is being debated

At the moment, when a text of right of reply is received, the original is sent to the newspaper’s lawyer and a copy to the journalist in question, as well as their head of department. After it has been discussed, a decision will be made about whether or not to publish it.

5.4. – How are public visits organised? : Only on request

Le Monde organises open days.

The newspaper printing press can be visited on request.

It is not possible to attend editorial meetings any more.

5.5. – Are there organised meetings with the public? : On the initiative of the readers

The Association of Readers of Le Monde organises meetings with journalists but this concerns only a small number.

5.6. – Are journalist contact details made public? : No

5.7. – How are internet forums managed? : There is internal pre- moderation.

The website is pre-moderated by journalists.

Blogs are post-moderated by an external company who do an initial filtering. After that, the blog author moderates the comments themselves.

6.1. – Moving towards green printing? : Yes

Le Monde has just begun the process to obtain a ‘green label’ which involves rigorous managing of its waste.

Some waste is collected and reused, like paper – badly printed newspapers are collected and recycled by a specialised company. White paper is also recovered for recycling, as are bobbins, macules and some packaging.

Waste that is not reused is collected in special containers and disposed of – ink, oil, IT waste, electricity waste (batteries, light bulbs, neon light bulbs etc.), empty or dirty packaging, solvents, waste water for wetting, chemicals for treating plate production, such as revealers, etc.

Cloths are saved in containers and collected by a company which washes and replaces them.

The company announced the closing of its printing during the next year.

6.2. – How sustainable are the infrastructure and logistics? : Yes

The editorial office set up a selective sorting system in 2008. The collection and recycling of paper is carried out by a company employing disabled workers.

Several air treatment centres for buildings have been set up.

Fair trade coffee is available in the coffee dispensers.

Gradually, traditional light bulbs have been replaced by low energy light bulbs or LEDs. 5-8% of our electricity consumption is classified green. A large-scale programme for lighting offices individually has been put in place.

The car fleet has been reduced.

6.3. – Are suppliers selected according to sustainable criteria? : Yes

Sustainable development is one of the consistent criteria for all of the newspaper’s suppliers.

6.4. – Is there sustainable management of film materials? : It is still too early to talk about

The question is not yet relevant since material only dates back to 2006.

7.1. – What initiatives are there for developing media literacy? : Nothing formal but …

A group of journalists regularly takes part in schools’ Press Week.

7.2. – Is support provided for media in emerging countries? : No

8.1. – What commitments are there for continuous training? : Not much is used

As a general rule, journalists from Le Monde use their right to training very little, except in the case of language learning.

There are occasional, very specific, technical training courses.

8.2. – Is there pay transparency?  : Yes, but…

There is pay transparency for editorial journalists but this does not apply to management staff.

8.3. – Is there an apprenticeship tax? : There are various beneficiaries

Le Monde pays a part of its tax to journalism schools for categories B and C (formerly middle and senior management) and to other academic organisations (e.g. école Estienne, lycée Sophie Germain) for category A (formerly skilled workers).

9.1. – How is corporate social responsibility applied? : There is none

And nobody is looking at this question.