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description French newspaper
publishing company SARL Liberation
First edition April 18, 1973
Frequency of publication Every day
Sold edition approx. 100,000 copies
Editor-in-chief Gérard Lefort
editor Laurent Joffrin ,
Johan Hufnagel
Web link
ISSN (print)

The Liberation ("Libé") is a left-liberal French daily newspaper . Founded in 1973 and published in Paris , Liberation is one of the most important national newspapers in France after Le Monde and Le Figaro . The main shareholder has been Édouard de Rothschild since 2005 .


The Libération was created in spring 1973 as the mouthpiece of the French 68 movement and the New Left. Early collaborators included the philosopher Michel Foucault and the newspaper's founder was the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre . Over the years, the paper moved from the left edge of the political spectrum to a left-wing liberal position, which in the German press was most likely to be compared with the attitude of the earlier taz or the Frankfurter Rundschau before the bankruptcy in 2012.

According to research by the taz , the circulation decreased continuously between 2000 and 2004 from 161,000 to the last 139,000 copies sold. For 2004 alone, this meant a decrease in circulation of almost eight percent.

The union Societé civile des personnels de Liberation (SCPL) was for many years the main shareholder of the paper with 39.4 percent . In early 2005, it reduced its share to 20 percent due to financial difficulties. The British fund company " 3i " also announced in November 2004 that it would withdraw from its fifth stake.

The private banker and racing team owner Édouard de Rothschild took over these equity stakes totaling 37 percent for 20 million euros in January 2005 and thus became the main shareholder of the paper. So far, he has said that he does not want to interfere in the content of the newspaper and thus respect the independence of the ailing newspaper. Its goal is to create its own media group that can stand up to it.

In mid-September 2006 Liberation addressed its shareholders and readers with a haunting text; she described her dire financial condition and asked for any kind of support. The text ends with a personal appeal:

«Avec vous, Liberation vivra. Sans vous, il n'a plus de raison d'être, ni de paraître chaque jour. »

“Liberation will live with you. Without you she has neither reason to exist nor to appear every day. "

In 2010 the circulation was only 118,000.

In February 2014 it was announced that the newspaper was on the verge of bankruptcy. In the previous year, the circulation had fallen by 15 percent and is now only 100,000 copies. The main owners Bruno Ledoux and Edouard de Rothschild announced further far-reaching austerity measures; they are no longer willing to invest new money in the newspaper. In the past few years, Liberation was only able to survive thanks to state press subsidies amounting to ten million euros a year.


The word Libération in France linked to the historical process of liberation from the occupation by Nazi Germany ( 1944 /45). From 1941 onwards, the Liberation Resistance group in Lyon published an underground newspaper of the same name with Emmanuel d'Astier and others , which appeared legally with the liberation of Paris until it was closed in 1964.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Edouard de Rothschild now lives in Tel Aviv ,, August 3, 2010.
  2. ↑ The French “taz” model is about to go bankrupt , in: Die Welt , February 10, 2014.