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France profonde

Founded by Jean-Paul Sartre, the left-wing newspaper Libération was once the smart radical's essential reading. But its values no longer reflect modern France

By Tim King   September 2006

“Libération does not need a requiem,” wrote Edouard de Rothschild in Le Monde in July, trying to persuade the readers that France’s other great left-wing newspaper was not about to fold. As Libération’s largest shareholder (38.7 per cent), no one can blame him for trying, but few were taken in. Eighteen months earlier, the baron had announced he would save the paper with €20m, but that money has already gone and each month the paper loses a further €1m, four times more than was budgeted. With circulation down to 137,000, de Rothschild is unwilling to invest more unless the staff…

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