Sarkozy and the French Press


Nicolas Sarkozy is concerned about the health of the French press. And he has good reasons: France appears on the 28 position in the ranking of newspaper readership in the world. The President wants to know why his country, which has been a worldwide leader in any field of culture, is so badly placed in terms of newspaper consumtion.

One year ago, Sarkozy launched an initiative to identify efficient ways to protect the French press. The project can ve visited at

The French press is expensive (the price is 1,26 per copy, highier than in most European countries).  Paris papers are distributed by a no very innovative monopoly: the NMPP. And there are not truly French multimedia companies able to create synergies, economies of scale and profitable brand extensions.

On top of that, the owners of the most prestigious French newspapers are not “pure editors”: Rothschild, Dassault, Bolloré, Pinault and Arnaud are family names mainly linked with luxury goods, distribution, advertising and defense. Perhaps their newspapers are less focused at serving the readers’ interests than at protecting their main business. Mr Sarkozy should think about that risk.

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