La Libre Belgique
|Owner(s)||La Libre Belgique S.A.|
|Editor||Francis Van de Woestyne|
|Founded||As Le Patriote: 1884
As La Libre Belgique: 1915
|Headquarters||Rue des Francs 47,
B-1040 Brussels, Belgium
La Libre Belgique (literally, "Free Belgium"), now sold under the name La Libre, is a Belgian newspaper in French. In Belgium, it is seen as roughly equivalent to the Dutch De Standaard. The paper is widely perceived as pro-catholic. Along with another high circulation French-speaking newspaper Le Soir, it dominates the market in Wallonia and Brussels.
History and profile
La Libre Belgique was founded in February 1915 by the brothers Louis and Victor Jourdain (fr) who had been active in the world of newspaper publishing before the war. The paper was initially secretly published in Belgium which at the time was occupied by German Empire as part of the underground press. Hence its name which was at the same time an allusion to the collaborationist paper La Belgique. Several weeks before the end of the hostilities, both of the Jourdain brothers died of natural causes. Their work was continued by Victor’s two sons Joseph and Paul Jourdain.
The newspaper was also published secretly during World War II in a number of unofficial editions. In 1959 the paper reached a record circulation of 190 thousand copies. However, by 1999 it had dropped to 68 212 copies. The 2002 circulation of the paper was 61,463 copies with the market share of 9.6%. The current editor in chief is Vincent Slits.
The paper was noted widely as one of the papers involved in a feud with Google relating to which content that could be linked and cached by Google. In July 2011, the paper was totally removed from Google News and Google's normal web search. The paper can however now be found again by Google web search.
- "London Remembers, Aiming to capture all memorials in London". Brussels remembers. 17 June 1913. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- David Ward (2004). "A Mapping Study of Media Concentration and Ownership in Ten European Countries". Dutch Media Authority. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Albert van de Kerckhove, L'histoire merveilleuse de La Libre Belgique, A. Dewit, 1919
- Official website (French)
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