Mar 17, 2017

The newspaper that's upending French politics

Pascal Subtil / Flickr Creative Commons

Politico Europe has a look at Le Canard Enchaîné, the French newspaper currently upending the French presidential race with its coverage of allegations that candidate François Fillon paid his family hundreds of thousands of euros for non-existent jobs in his parliamentary office.

  • It's old school. Le Canard comes out every Wednesday, and each edition is eight two-color pages. Its website lacks any real content, stating its job is to "entertain our readers with newsprint and ink."
  • It's not beholden to anyone. The paper is a cooperative owned by its staff, so there's no owner to please. There are no ads — the paper's only revenue comes from sales and subscriptions.
  • It's quirky. It's a satirical paper, so Le Canard is packed with jokes and puns, most of which only make sense in French.
  • It matters. People from France's biggest institutions line up to get a copy to make sure they're not the paper's target. A common refrain amongst presidents and prime ministers: "[I don't want] to read all about it in Le Canard next Wednesday."
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