Saturday, April 23, 2005
The French have a long tradition of speaking loudly," said Loïc Le Meur, a Frenchman and Six Apart's European vice president. "We are the people who made the French Revolution, (the national uprising of) May '68 -- and just look at all our strikes! We always want to debate. Perhaps blogs are the ultimate tool for us to express ourselves."
Interestingly and unfortunately, however, des bloguers are not deconstructing France's establishment media with the zeal of their American counterparts:
While bloggers elsewhere are commonly depicted warring with mainstream media, the rise of France's blogeurs owes much to traditional publishers and broadcasters like VNU, 01net and Europe2, which have popularized the form with high-profile consumer blog services.
Le Monde, France's biggest newspaper, is also a weblog host, letting thousands of readers write journals alongside those of staff reporters and columnists. Just two days after the invitation to "become your own editor" in December, readers-turned-writers were leapfrogging the pros in a rundown of the online paper's most-read pages.
At the risk of exposing latent Francophilia, it certainly appears as though Le Monde has embraced blogging more than any major American paper. The first American newspaper of comparable stature to embrace blogging -- to harness the power of a million editors -- will vault past its competition in both credibility and readership. But it will take the courage of, er, a French newspaper to make it happen.