Liberation, a sloppier newspaper than Le Monde with less background and documentation and fewer texts of speeches and interviews, nonetheless seems to fit this sharper mold better than Le Monde. Liberation likes to focus on the main news story of the day, with five or six tabloid pages of news, pointed analysis, background, human interest, photos and maps. In an era of pro-Americanism, Liberation's headlines ring with phrases in English. Its pages bristle with wit and irreverence.
Le Monde emerged in 1944, out of the ashes of the prewar Paris newspaper Le Temps. Before the war, Le Temps had been regarded outside France as the unofficial spokesman for the French government. During the war, Le Temps moved from Paris to Lyon after the Germans occupied Paris and northern France.
[Charles de Gaulle]'s aides decided to build a newspaper on the foundation of Le Temps, with a staff mainly of those former Le Temps writers who had no taint of collaboration. They chose Hubert Beuve-Mery, a former foreign correspondent of Le Temps, and two managers as the triumvirate that would run Le Monde. The first edition, of almost 150,000 copies, appeared on Dec. 18, 1944.