New look for struggling Le Monde

29th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The once notoriously staid "Le Monde" has completed its evolution towards a more modern European design with a new look apparently closely modelled on more successful European rivals.

PARIS - Long regarded as one of the most conservative newspapers in design terms - Le Monde first deigned to illustrate news stories in 1995 - the Parisian daily has gradually transitioned into a fresh, modern look.

Monday's edition stuck with the trademark Berliner format, larger than a tabloid but smaller than a broadsheet, but adopted a clearer layout with more colour photographs eerily similar to Britain's "The Guardian".

The paper's most famous signature, the front page cartoon by satirist Plantu, remains, but has been joined on the front by blurbs just under the masthead and above the main news promoting inside content.

Just inside the front page in a spot formerly given over to lengthy comment and analysis pieces, a short series of items points readers to extra content available on the paper's webside,

In an editorial explaining the changes, director Eric Fottorino explains he wanted the paper "to multiply opportunities to draw readers into the page by using a striking and carefully chosen visual."

As before, however, Le Monde will remain a "newspaper of what is essential, preferring a hierachy of news over the confusion of trying to be exhaustive".

Last year the depth of the crisis at Le Monde was revealed when the paper was forced to lay off 60 of its 350 journalists and revealed that sales were down 5.3 percent year-on-year to only around 300,000 copies per day.


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