La Libre Belgique
|Type||Daily newspaper (six times per week)|
|Owner(s)||La Libre Belgique S.A.|
|Publisher||IPM publishing group|
|Founded||As Le Patriote: 1884
As La Libre Belgique: 1915
|Headquarters||Rue des Francs 47,
B-1040 Brussels, Belgium
La Libre Belgique (literally, "The 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 Flemish De Standaard. The paper was originally pro-catholic, but it is now often critical about the Catholic Church. Along with another high circulation French-speaking newspaper Le Soir, it dominates the market in Wallonia and Brussels.
History and profile
The paper was started as Le Patriot in 1884 and had a pro-Catholic stance. It was renamed La Libre Belgique and was published as part of the underground press in February 1915 during the occupation of Belgium by German Empire. The publishers were the brothers Louis and Victor Jourdain who had been active in the world of newspaper publishing before the war. 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.
La Libre is published six times per week (from Monday to Saturday) by the IPM publishing group and has its headquarters in Brussels. The current editor in chief is Vincent Slits. The online edition of the paper was started in 2001. The paper has been published in tabloid format since 2002.
La Libre 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 circulation of La Libre Belgique was 40,000 copies in summer 1941. In 1959 the paper reached a record circulation of 190 thousand copies.
In 1990 the paper sold 170,000 copies. However, by 1999 it had dropped to 68,212 copies. The 2002 circulation of the paper was 61,463 copies with a market share of 9.6%. The circulation of the paper was 42,000 in copies in 2010.
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- Official website (French)
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