A new national newspaper for the English speaking community in France was launched last month, with the publication of ‘The French Paper’.
'The French Paper' is the brainchild of Nicki Wade, an expat who has lived in the Charente for the past five years, and who is an award winning publisher with 18 years of experience under her belt.
She currently publishes 'Living Poitou-Charentes', a stylish and glossy bi-monthly lifestyle magazine that offers both regional articles and features, as well as broader stories about France.
Nicki has appointed as her editor, Michael Streeter, a seasoned ex Fleet Street journalist who was previously news editor of the Independent on Sunday, as well as having held previous senior positions in the industry. Michael also lives in France.
It will be interesting to see how the paper seeks to position itself in relation to 'Connexion', the existing national newspaper in France, which has established itself as an informative source of news and advice.
The publicity release speaks of a paper designed to be ‘practical, informative, inspiring and entertaining’ which ‘combines broadsheet sensibilities with magazine values’.
There seems to be no lack of ambition in the extent of the planned editorial coverage, with the paper proposing to write about ‘people, politics, food, wine, property, work, kids, business, country and city living, art, community, history, places, money, building, bureaucracy, jobs, gardening, lifestyle, shopping and education’ – all ‘in an engaging and above all clear style’.
First impressions of the launch edition are strong, with the paper displaying plenty of panache, and a lively, upbeat editorial style. They have also cleverly chosen to break up the paper, with two pull-out sections covering 'Work and Money', and 'Living'. There is even a small comic style pull-out for the kids!
The paper has an initial print run of 35,000. It is available via newsagents throughout France, as well on subscription.
Needless to say, it remains to be seen whether there is sufficient demand for two national papers in France. Indeed, there may well yet be another paper on the streets, as the title and intellectual rights to the now defunct 'French News' newspaper have been sold to readers of the paper. It could soon get quite crowded!