Political orientation of French and foreign newspapers

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 question:

→ 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

British dailies

  • The Daily Telegraph: conservative (center right, right-wing).
  • The Times: conservative (center right, right-wing).
  • The Guardian: Labor (left)
  • The Independent: Liberal Democrat and Labor (center and left)

British weeklies

  • The economist: center. (liberal on economics, progressive on social issues)
  • The Observer: Labor (left, like The Guardian)

Orientation of American newspapers

American dailies

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

American weeklies

  • Time (Magazine): center-left in the US
  • Newsweek: Democrats (left in the USA = center right in France)
“Left, Center-Left, Center, Center-Right, Right”. This graph from the excellent AllSides.com is based on an Anglo-Saxon frame of reference that may differ from political representations in France. It is difficult to compare with the French media, but it remains very relevant to compare the American media.

Orientation of Spanish newspapers

Spanish dailies

  • El País: center left liberal
  • El Mundo: center-right conservative
  • La Razón: right-wing
  • Vanguardia: right-wing
  • ABC: right-wing

Orientations of German newspapers

German dailies

  • 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 in August and September2021) 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)

Italian weeklies

  • 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

French dailies

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.

French weeklies

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 year2021. 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 year2021. This gives us 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 are 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.

→ General Knowledge Topics

→ Year-by-Year News Summaries

156 thoughts on “Political orientation of French and foreign newspapers

  1. 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

  2. […] 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. […]

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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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