Whether it is for a foreign language test, a summary note, or for your personal readings, the articles you will have to decipher systematically have an intention. They often have a political aim, or when it is not deliberate, they have a political color.
Understanding the political positioning of the newspaper in question will allow you to determine more accurately and quickly in which political universe the author exposes his arguments.
Here is therefore a review of all newspapers, according to their political orientation. To better understand what is called left or right, you will consult with interest this article on the subject:
→ Understanding left-right political positions
Will be exposed first the political tendencies of foreign newspapers, then the political tendencies of French media.
British newspapers’ orientation
- The Daily Telegraph: conservative (center right, right wing)
- The Times: conservative (center right, right wing)
- The Guardian: Labour (left)
- The Independent: Liberal Democrat and Labour (center and left)
- The Economist: center. (liberal on economics, progressive on social issues)
- The Observer: Labour (left, like The Guardian)
Orientation of American newspapers
For each American newspaper, we have indicated the political tendency and then the number of readers, based on 2022 data.
- USA Today: center [= center right in France], popular (≈2,300,000 readers)
- New York Times: left in the United States [= center left in France], close to the Democrats, progressive (≈2,100,000 readers)
- Wall Street Journal: center, economics and finance specialty, non-contradictory (≈1,337,000 readers)
- Los Angeles Times: left in the United States [= center left in France], close to the Democrats, progressive (≈467,000 readers)
- New York Post: center in the United States [= center right in France] (≈424,721 readers)
- Chicago Tribune: conservative, traditionally close to the Republicans (≈385,000 readers)
- Washington Post: center in the United States [= center-right in France; bought by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon] (≈357,000 readers)
- Washington Times: right-wing in the United States, close to the Republicans, originally linked to the Church
- Time (Magazine): center-left in the US
- Newsweek: Democrats (left in the USA = center-right in France)
Orientation of Spanish newspapers
- El País: center left liberal
- El Mundo: center-right conservative
- La Razón: right-wing
- Vanguardia: right-wing
- ABC: right-wing
Orientations of German newspapers
- Bild: popular, conservative and nationalist right, Atlanticist
- Der Tagesspiegel: liberal right
- Die Tageszeitung: left-wing
- Die Welt: conservative right
- Frankfurter Allgemeine: right-wing
- Süddeutsche Zeitung: center-left
German weekly newspapers
- Der Spiegel: center left
- Die Zeit: center
- Focus: right
Italian newspaper orientations
Italian daily newspapers
For each Italian newspaper, the political orientation is indicated, followed by the approximate number of readers (statistics based on August and September 2021) to give an idea of the impact of these titles.
- Corriere della sera: center, pro-EU, liberal (≈250,000 readers)
- La Repubblica : center-left (≈160,000 readers)
- Il Sole 24 ore: center, specializing in economics and finance, non-contradictory (≈134,000 readers)
- Avvenire: newspaper of the Vatican, conservative (≈105,000 readers)
- La Stampa: center, liberal (≈106,000 readers)
- Il Resto del Carlino: center-right, conservative (≈70,000 readers)
- Il Fatto Quotidiano: populist, close to the Five Star movement (≈52,000 readers)
- Il Giornale: far right, close to the Northern League and Brothers of Italy (≈37,000 readers)
- La Verità: far right, close to the Northern League and Brothers of Italy (≈31,000 readers)
- Il Venerdì di Repubblica: center left
- Famiglia Cristiana: Catholic, conservative
- D (La Repubblica): center left
- L’Espresso: left-wing
- Internazionale: left
- Panorama: right
Orientation of French newspapers
In addition to the orientation of the French press, we show the statements as to the paid circulation of these dailies for the year 2020-2021.
- Ouest France: pro-European and liberal (≈630,000 readers)
- Le Monde: center-left (≈450,000 readers)
- Le Figaro: right-wing (≈350,000 readers)
- Le Parisien / Aujourd’hui en France: popular and local (≈250,000 readers)
- Sud Ouest: controversial orientation (≈210,000 readers)
- La Voix du Nord: left-wing and proximity (≈200,000 readers)
- Les Echos: liberal (≈130,000 readers)
- Libération: left-wing (≈90,000 readers)
- La Croix: Catholic left (≈85,000 readers)
- L’Humanité: far left, communist (≈38,000 readers)
- L’Opinion: liberal, European and pro-business
In addition to the political color of these French magazines, we also show statements about the paid circulation of these dailies for the year 2020-2021.
- L’Obs / Le Nouvel Observateur: left (≈200,000 readers)
- L’Express: right (≈170,000 readers)
- Le Point: right-wing (≈280,000 readers)
- Marianne: anti-system and sovereignist since 2018 (≈130,000 readers)
- Courrier international: left-wing (≈160,000 readers)
- Journal du dimanche: right-wing (≈150,000 readers)
- Le Canard enchaîné: left-wing protestor
- Charlie Hebdo: left
- Alternatives économiques: left (≈67,000 readers)
- Valeurs actuelles: far right
- Minute: far right
Continuous news channels
In addition to the political trend of news channels in France, we show their audience share for the year 2021. These statistics are changing rapidly.
- BFMTV: center right (2.9% audience share)
- CNews: extreme right (2% audience share)
- LCI: right-wing (1.1% audience share)
- Franceinfo: center-left (0.7% audience share)
- France 24: Francophone oriented
- Euronews: pro-European
French TV channels
In addition to the political tendency of these French TV media, we also indicate the audience share of these channels for the year 2021. This gives an idea of their potential media impact.
- TF1: right (19.7% audience share)
- France 2: left (14.7% audience share)
- France 3: left-wing and local (9.4% audience share)
- M6: popular (9.1% audience share)
- France 5: left-wing (3.3% audience share)
- Arte: left-wing and pro-European (2.5% audience share)
Any comment? Any thoughts on the media? A correction? Propose your own analysis in the comments below. If you’re interested in the news, you can also extend your reading with our year-by-year news summaries, which offer a pretty dramatic perspective on the major changes of recent years, both nationally and internationally.
156 thoughts on “Political orientation of French and foreign newspapers”
Oh and for Quebec? -Duty: Center left / Right depth -Gesca (The press, the sun, the tribune etc.): Center right / average depth-Quebecor (Le journal de montréal/Quebec): Center right / very shallow (Tabloids) -The Gazette (Anglophone): Right / middle depth https://www.reddit.com/r/Quebec/comments/1ejjri/estce_que_quelquun_pourrait_svp_explication_les/
Hello, I use your site to do my media education classes. A colleague points out to me that there are no legal mentions. Could you tell me who is or are the authors of this site and what are your sources? Thank you so much
[…] François Léotard announces the privatization of TF1. Getting informed: from media to transmedia – CLEMI. Discover online media Observe the home page of a national or regional news site, understand its editorial project, identify its digital choices. Cnil: profiling, automated decision and GDPR. Political orientations of French and foreign newspapers – Academics in Politics. […]
Thank you, it helps to see things more clearly for the mass press. But alternative online newspapers should benefit from the same clarification.
Why don’t you mention among the German newspapers the daily ‘Bild’? I agree that this paper does not really deserve the name newspaper, but without indicating the number of 1.9 readers in 2021 for this daily one does not obtain a correct impression of the preferences of my compatriots.
You are absolutely right, Anne. Thank you very much for your comment, we have decided to add the daily Bild. And you are also quite right to underline the enormous circulation of this newspaper, the most widely read in Germany (and in the EU!). Thanks again !
M6 is very clearly on the right, more to the right than TF1. Evidenced by all its programs of the security type (exclusive investigation ..) or related to money (capital ..) or immersions in the lives of stars or the most fortunate (cruises, ..). Its family-type programs (love is in the meadow, etc.) also carry right-wing or conservative values (ideal love, ideal family happiness, etc.).
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