Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

French left daily, L’Humanité, fights for survival

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Back  l’Humanité!

Introducing this article I will make one reference.

During the siege of Kobani, in 2014, when all seemed lost, and the Kurds stood alone against the genociders of ISIS, the French Communist Daily had a reporter and a photographer on the spot. 

Vendredi, 12 Décembre, 2014

Dans l’Humanité Dimanche : Notre envoyé spécial, Pierre Barbancey, et le photographe Frédéric Lafargue ont passé 10 jours à Kobané avec les combattants kurdes qui défendent cette ville stratégique du Kurdistan de Syrie contre les assauts de Daesh. Ils racontent le quotidien de la guerre et la résistance farouche de ces femmes et de ces hommes qui a suscité un élan de solidarité international obligeant, malgré le jeu trouble de la Turquie, la coalition anti-Daesh à intervenir pour bombarder les positions islamistes. Mais les combattants kurdes ont encore besoin d’aide pour l’emporter.

Our special correspondent, Pierre Barbancey, and the photographer Frédéric Lafargue spent 10 days in Kobané with the Kurdish fighters who defend this strategic city of Kurdistan of Syria against the assaults of Daesh. They recount the daily life of the war and the fierce resistance of these women and men, which has given rise to a surge of international solidarity that, despite Turkey’s troubled game, compels the anti-Daesh coalition to intervene to bomb Islamist positions. But Kurdish fighters still need help to win.

Like many this writer was deeply affected by the front-line reports.

Today the Guardian has this excellent article:

Hard-left newspaper issues plea to subscribers with court to rule in insolvency case.

The venerable French communist newspaper L’Humanité is fighting bankruptcy, with even rightwing politicians taking out subscriptions to help keep it afloat.

The 114-year-old daily has appealed to readers to support its “great battle” to continue publishing as a court prepares to rule next week on whether it can be saved.

The paper was founded in 1904 by the French socialist leader Jean Jaurès and became the official paper of the French Communist party after 1920. It was an important player in the French press after the second world war, but daily sales have fallen from hundreds of thousands of copies at its height to about 30,000 copies today.

The French government’s system of giving direct and indirect state subsidies to all press titles has benefited L’Humanité, and successive French presidents have sought to ensure the title kept going until now. Its Italian equivalent, L’Unità, folded two years ago.

But the paper’s falling advertising revenue and declining sales have pushed it into crisis. With insolvency proceedings under way, the title is struggling to find solutions.

L’Humanité’s editor, Patrick Le Hyaric, told the Guardian the paper had “an extremely heavy cash-flow problem” because of production costs, falling advertising and subscriptions that do not plug the gap.

He told a court hearing last week it was important to find a way for the paper to continue publishing even if the receivers were called in.


The paper, which employs 200 people, has made an urgent appeal for subscriber support in recent weeks and high-profile supporters from the arts and politics will gather at an event in Paris next month.

Julien Dive, a Picardy politician from the rightwing Les Républicains party, was one of several figures on the right who made a donation and subscribed. He argued it was important to protect a variety of views in media and what he called a “monument of the French media landscape”. He said the paper’s coverage was always “impassioned and different” and it was important for people to read views they didn’t necessarily agree with.

«Laisser mourir “l’Humanité” reviendrait à affaiblir la presse de qualité.» Jérôme Lefilliâtre.

It is not just that the daily was founded by Jean Jaurès.

It is not just that they stood with the Kurds against the Islamist genociders.

This is an issue of press pluralism, the continued presence of a real newspaper of the left.

Back l’Humanité !



Written by Andrew Coates

February 4, 2019 at 12:37 pm

One Response

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  1. Yes, they may have backed the right side as you have pointed out here but over the years they have have backed and excuse some extremely unpleasant individuals and regimes. The demise of this, the Italian version, The Morning Star and the rest is indicative of the decline of the left and it can’t be put down to the internet.

    Dave Roberts

    February 4, 2019 at 9:01 pm

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