Le Nouvel Observateur

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Le Nouvel Observateur
Editor Matthieu Croissandeau
First issue 1964; 51 years ago (1964)
Based in Paris, France
Website nouvelobs.com
ISSN 0029-4713

L'Obs (initially France Observateur, later Le Nouvel Observateur, since 23 October 2014 simply L'Obs) [ɔps]) is a weekly French newsmagazine. Based in Paris, it is the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation.

History and profile[edit]

Since its inception in 1964[1] Le Nouvel Observateur has published weekly[2] and has covered political, business and economic news. It features extensive coverage of European, Middle Eastern and African political, commercial and cultural issues. Its strongest areas are political and literary matters and is noted for its in-depth treatment of the main issues of the day. It has been described as "the French intellectuals' parish magazine", or more pejoratively as "quasi-official organ of France's 'gauche caviar'".[3]

Magazine's internet site was launched by Patrick Fiole and Christina Sourieau in 1999.

The magazine's new charter, adopted in June 2004 (on the 40th anniversary of its founding), described the paper's principles:

...The Nouvel Observateur is a cultural and political weekly whose orientation belongs within the general social-democratic movement. A tradition ever concerned with combining respect for freedom and the quest for social justice.

Its current editorial board is presided over by two of its co-founders, Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel, two editors-in-chief, Laurent Joffrin and Serge Lafaurie, as well as director general, Jacqueline Galvez. André Gorz and other journalists who had left L'Express helped found the publication. A 65% stake in the magazine was purchased by the owners of Le Monde in 2014.[4]

On 12 March 2014, Laurent Joffrin and Nathalie Collin, the two co-directors of the press group gave their dismissal, as the Nouvel Observateur was being sold to Le Monde.[5]

In parallel of its editorial activities, the Nouvel Observateur group took control of the online news site Rue89 in December 2011, becoming its only shareholder.[6]

On 23 October 2014 the magazine was renamed as L'Obs and its layout was also changed to cover in-depth reports on investigations, stories and discussions of ideas.[7]

Publishing history[edit]

  • Founded in 1950, it was initially named L'Observateur politique, economique et littéraire
  • From 1953 to 1954 it was briefly called L'Observateur d'aujourd'hui
  • From 1954 to 1964 it was published as France-observateur
  • From 1964 to the present day it has been known as Le Nouvel Observateur

Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel were the founders of the 1964 incarnation of the magazine.

Related publications[edit]

TéleObs is a supplement including articles about TV and cinema. It was published fortnightly until October 2014 when it began to be published weekly.[7]

Challenges is an international business magazine published by Le Nouvel Observateur beginning in 1982. Released fortnightly, it includes information on companies and their managers at the CEO level all around the world.

Le Nouvel Observateur formerly published ParisObs, a general information supplement with a focus on Paris and the Île-de-France region, also published weekly.


The 1981 circulation of Le Nouvel Observateur was 385,000 copies.[8] It was 340,000 copies in 1987 and 370,000 copies in the following year.[8] In the period of 2001-2002 the magazine had a circulation of 471,000 copies.[2]

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Circulation 542,781 544,401 544,411 543,399 542,529 543,596 541,577 542,392 531,313 530,123 530,935

The circulation of the magazine during the first half of 2013 was 526,732 copies.[9]

See also[edit]

  • L'Express - left-center wing newsmagazine
  • Le Point - middle-of-the-road newsmagazine


  1. ^ "Weekly Magazines: Second in a Series on French Media". Wikileaks. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Top 50 Finance/Business/News magazines worldwide (by circulation)" (Report). Magazine Organization. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Vinocur, John (20 June 2006). "Chirac's Potential Heirs Keeping Change Hidden". International Herald Tribune, republished by The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  4. ^ Those media assets that are worth nothing
  5. ^ Laurent Joffrin et Nathalie Collin quittent le directoire du "Nouvel Observateur" 12 March 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  6. ^ Hi-Media: vend ses parts dans Rue89.com 22 December 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Le Nouvel Observateur gets a new layout and a new name". Publicitas. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Raymond Kuhn (7 April 2006). The Media in France. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-134-98053-6. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "List of represented titles. Magazines". Publicitas International AG. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 

External links[edit]