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Encyclopedia > L'Humanite

L'Humanité ("Humanity"), formerly the daily newspaper of the French Communist Party (PCF), was the only French newspaper owned by a political party. Now the paper is virtually independent, but still maintains links with the PCF. The logo of the PCF. Note the absence of traditional communist imagery such as the hammer and sickle. ...

It was founded in 1904 by the Socialist Party leader Jean Jaurès. When the Socialists split in 1920, the Communists retained control of L'Humanité, and it has been published by the PCF ever since. The PCF owns 40% of the paper with the remaining shares held by staff, readers and "friends" of the paper. 1904 is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Socialist Party is the name of several different political parties around the world that are explicitly called Socialist though some are Social Democratic and some are not. ... Jean Jaurès Jean Léon Jaurès ( September 3, 1859 - July 31, 1914) was a French Socialist leader. ... 1920 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ...

The fortunes of L'Humanité have fluctuated with those of the PCF. During the 1920s, when the PCF was an isolated sect, it was kept in existence only by donations from Party members. With the formation of the Popular Front in 1934, its circulation and status increased, and many leading French intellectuals wrote for it. During World War II, L'Humanité was banned but continued to publish clandestinely until the liberation of Paris from German occuption. Its status was highest in the years immediately after World War II. The Popular Front (Front Populaire) was an alliance of left-wing political parties that came into power in France following the 1936 elections. ... 1934 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Liberation of Paris in World War II took place in late August 1944 after the battle of Normandy. ...

During the late 1940s and the 1950s, when the PCF was the dominant party of the French left, L'Humanité enjoyed a large circulation. Since the 1980s, however, the PCF has been in decline (mostly due to the rise of the French Socialist Party, which took over large sections of the former PCF support base), and the circulation and economic viability of L'Humanité have declined as well. Until 1990 the PCF and l'Humanité received regular subsidies from the Soviet Union. According to the French authors Victor Loupan and Pierre Lorrain, l'Humanité received free newsprint from Soviet sources. The emblem of the French Socialist Party The Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste or PS), founded in 1969, is the main opposition party in France. ... 1990 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The fall of the Soviet Union and the continued decline of the PCF's electoral base produced a crisis for L'Humanité. Its circulation, once over 400,000, slumped to 48,200. In 2001, after a decade of financial decline the PCF sold 20% of the paper to a group of private investors led by TV channel TF1 (Bouygues group) and including Hachette (Lagardère group). TF1 said that its motive for buying a share of a failing newspaper was the "maintenance of media diversity." Despite the obvious irony of a Communist newspaper being rescued by private capital, some of which was involved in supporting right-wing politics, L'Humanité director Patrick Le Hyaric described the sale as "a matter of life or death." 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... TF1 is a private French TV network, controlled by the Bouygues group. ... The Bouygues group is a French industrial group founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues and since 1989 led by his son Martin Bouygues. ... Hachette is a large French media group, now a multinational. ... In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ...

There has been continued speculation since 2001 that L'Humanité will cease publication as a daily newspaper, but so far this has been averted. The paper is sustained by the annual Fête de L'Humanité, held in the working class suburbs of Paris. 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ...

External link

  • L'Humanité website (http://www.humanite.fr/)

Further reading

  • Victor Loupan and Pierre Lorrain: L'Argent de Moscou. L'histoire la plus secrete du PCF, Paris, 1994



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