In order to learn a foreign language and have a better understanding of the culture of a country, it is important to regularly consult the news. French newspapers and media are easily accessible and represent a good comprehension exercise. In this article, you will find information about the political orientation of French newspapers and news channels.
The political orientation
Access to French news is relatively easy. Many newspapers and news channels are available online. However, it may be interesting to know the political orientation of the different media. This helps to better understand the angle that journalists can take and to keep in mind that the majority of the information presented is biased, whether it is on one side or the other of the political spectrum.
Actually, I highly recommend the video by Florent Tavernier on the subject. In this video, he explains the importance of the place of moral intuition in political orientation and how individual sensitivity, as well as genetics, can influence political positioning.
Feel free to take this mini French test of 12 questions which will tell you which French political parties are aligned with your political ideals:
You can also take this more comprehensive test in English which will give you, in percentage, details about your positions on the eight different axes of politics:
To compensate for the lack of impartiality of newspapers and media, I advise you to read newspapers from different political stripes. You will notice that for the same event, the situation is often presented in a relatively different way in newspapers of opposite political orientation. It will therefore be interesting to consult the articles of various newspapers and also to consult the sources of its newspapers if it is a subject which interests you.
French Newspapers and Their Political Orientation
|Left||Center / Neutral||Right|
|1jour1actu (A1, children) 🍼|
Daily paper dedicated to children from the age of 8 and up. The articles are short and streamlined, ideal for beginners in French.
|France Soir (A2-B1) ⭐|
Formerly the newspaper of the French resistance, founded in 1944.
|Le Figaro (A2-B1)|
Founded in 1826, making it the oldest French daily still published. Often in alignment with the government agenda. *💶
|Le Monde (A2-B1)|
One of the most read daily newspapers in France, subsidized by the French state. * 💶
Deals with international news, from a Québécois point of view.
Founded in 1982, national-Catholic in orientation.
Previously far-left, currently of social democratic political orientation. *💶
|20 minutes (A2-B1)|
Deals with general information.
|Valeurs actuelles (A2-B1)|
Generalist opinion journal, founded in 1966.
|La Croix (A2, catholique) ⛪|
Journal founded in 1883, openly Christian and Catholic.*💶
|Le Parisien (A2-B1)|
First daily news in Paris, owned by LVMH.*💶
Founded in 1904 by Jean Jaurès, close to the communist ideology.* 💶
|Les Échos (B1) 💹|
Liberal in orientation, specializing in economics and finance.*💶
|Mediapart (B1-B2) ⭐|
The site hosts both articles written by its own teams (“le journal”) and those of its users (“ le club”). It is one of the few paying “everything online” for the general public in the French information market. Known for having revealed several political scandals.
Liberal in orientation, specialty: European news and trade. *💶
Sports daily paper, at the origin of the creation of the UEFA Champions League.*💶
|Left||Center / Neutral||Right|
|Le Canard enchaîné (C1-C2) |
Founded in 1915, Le Canard enchaîné is a satirical and investigative weekly. It is known to have exposed a large number of scandalous cases.
|Rapports de force (B1)|
Independent journal of libertarian orientation and supporting social movements. Deals with political, economic and international news.
|Le Journal du dimanche (A2-B1) |
Also called “JDD” and founded in 1948. Focuses mainly on current political affairs. Also known for posting scoops regularly. *💶
Magazine rather on the side of the left and conservatism. Its motto is a quote from Albert Camus that can be translated as “The taste for truth does not prevent taking sides”. *💶
|Midi-Olympique (B1)🏉 |
Bi-weekly newspaper specializing in sport, and more particularly rugby. It was founded in 1929 and, along with Le Canard Enchaîné, is one of the oldest French weeklies still published.
|La Tribune (B1-B2) 💹|
Economic and financial journal. Direct competitor of the daily
Les Echos. *💶
Social-democratic magazine recently outclassed by Le Point. Currently 99% owned by Le Monde libre.*💶
|L’Express (A2-B1) |
Right-wing magazine supporting economic liberalism. *💶
|Le Point (A2-B1) |
Inspired by Time magazine. Although classified in the center-right, this newspaper is open to all political opinions and offers various interviews and analyzes.
French News Channels and Their Political Orientation
Finally, here is a non-exhaustive list of news channels and their political orientation:
|Left||Center / Neutral||Right|
Provides a summary in less than ten minutes of the headlines of the news.
Offers a critical look at the world and current events. Blast’s philosophy is free access to information.
|TV Libertés |
Media using the concept of “reinformation” to promote its ideas. The channel defines itself as a television “freed from political correctness”.
Continuous French and public information television channel.
|Le Fil d’Actu|
Offers a different reading of current affairs, responsible and ethical. This media seeks to move away from the continuous flow of information from television channels. It is considered the anti-BFM TV.
|BFM TV |
The acronym BFM stands for “Business Frequency Modulation” which corresponds to the name of the BFM Business financial information radio station. Known to occasionally broadcast false information.
|Epoch Times France|
This media aims to inform you in an objective and unbiased manner about French and international news.
|France 24 |
The channel was created at the will of the former President of the Republic Jacques Chirac in 2002. Its objective was to give France a voice abroad, able to compete against the American (CNN International), British (BBC World News) and Qatari (Al Jazeera) medias. This channel is oriented towards the French speaking countries. France 24 was awarded at the 19th edition of the Eutelsat TV Awards in the “best news channel” category.
Which newspapers and news channels do you consult most often? Share your experience in the comment section!