• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Editors at Le Monde newspaper quit en masse

AFP/The Local · 6 May 2014, 17:36

Published: 06 May 2014 17:36 GMT+02:00

"A lack of confidence in and communication with editorial management prevents us from fulfilling our roles as chief editors," seven of the newspaper's senior editors said in an internal letter to management.

They said they remained available to help out until a new team is appointed to replace them, to avoid damaging the daily running of the newspaper.

"We have realised that we are no longer able to assume the tasks entrusted to us, and that's why we are resigning from our respective posts," they added.

A source at the newspaper told AFP it was "exhausting" working under a management they said never communicates, takes decisions without consulting chief editors and fails to respond to simple organisational requests.

"They don't work collectively, we never know what is going on," the source said.

"After a year-and-a-half, it's not working out."

Management was not immediately available for comment.

The editors' gripes centre on Natalie Nougayrede, the newspaper's managing editor, whom staff say is "very difficult to talk to", according to the source.

Nougayrede took up her post in March last year, succeeding the highly respected Erik Izraelewicz who died suddenly of a heart attack in his office in November 2012.

Le Monde crisis: The woman blamed for the mass resignations

Management was not immediately available for comment.

Le Monde, a centre-left daily founded in 1944, is France's newspaper of record and recently played a prominent role in the coverage of the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Le Monde is not the only French newspaper in turmoil at the moment. In February the head of the left wing Liberation paper quit after staff revolted over a plan to turn it into a "social network".

Nicolas Demorand quit Liberation after a surprise plan by owners to try to turn the newspaper around sparked fury among its journalists.

Demorand, Liberation's publisher since 2011, said he had the "full support" of the newspaper's shareholders but that he had become a polarising figure.

"I am taking this decision because I believe we must unblock the situation Liberation finds itself in, with a clear confrontation between the editorial department and part of the shareholders," he said.

Story continues below…

Started by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, Liberation has been a mainstay on French newsstands - especially in left-leaning Paris.

In 2013, Liberation lost more than a million euros ($1.3 million) as sales plummeted 15 percent - the biggest slide among French newspapers.

Its two main owners, businessman Edouard de Rothschild and real estate developer Bruno Ledoux, have warned they will no longer finance the paper unless a "viable project" is accepted to turn it around.

The owners have presented a plan to create a "social network" using the newspaper's brand and to convert its offices into a cultural centre featuring a cafe, TV studio and business area to help start-ups.

Liberation's staff have rejected the project, saying journalism must remain its main focus

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Photos: AFP

A series of ongoing strikes in France could continue to affect the country throughout the Euro 2016 tournament, which starts in just two weeks.

Fuel crisis eases as French police unblock depots
Tires on fire in front of an oil depot near the Total refinery of Donges, western France, on Friday. Photo: AFP

After a week of fuel shortages in France, things are improving in time for the weekend.

Opinion - French strikes
'Stop pissing everyone off': French boss to union chief
Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT union. Photo: AFP

In an open letter to the man attempting to bring France to a standstill, a business owner tells him to stop "living in the past" and stop "pissing everyone off".

Want a '30-hour work week'? Move to Paris (or Lyon)
Lunchtime in Paris? Photo: reynermedia/Flickr

Workers in Paris and Lyon put in the fewest hours out of 71 major cities around the world. Lazy or supremely efficient.

The nations the French love to make fun of the most
Photo: Romain Seignovert

The British are not the French's top target, believe it or not.

What's the story behind French Neighbours' Day?
Families get together in the northern suburbs of Paris on Neighbour's Day. Photo: AFP

Fuel crisis
Renting a car in fuel-starved France? No need to panic
Photo: AFP

While France's fuel concerns have prompted holiday cancellations, car rental companies say travellers have nothing to worry about.

French soldier knifed by men 'angry over Syria bombings'
Photo: AFP

A French soldier was knifed by two men armed who he claimed reproached him for France's military intervention in Syria.

Opinion - Strikes in France
France is heading into a 'summer of discontent'
Photo: AFP

This isn’t 1970s Britain but France in 2016.

'Don't worry, France is far from running out of fuel'
The area around Paris and parts of western France appear to be the worst hit. Image: Essence smartphone app

French petroleum industry chiefs try to calm fears but trade unions have called for protests and strikes to be stepped up.

National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
2,737
jobs available