ABSTRACT

Given the importance the press was to play in the careers of Jules Grévy and Daniel Wilson, the history of newspapers and news agencies since the French 1789 Revolution is reviewed. Attention is given to the relation between the state and freedom of expression, newspapers and politics, and the news industry and economics. Contributions of the major press magnate Émile de Girardin (1802–1881) and of others like Moïse Polydore Millaud are highlighted, as are transformations of newspaper economics and communications networks. Distinctions among categories of daily newspapers are explained—between grands journaux, big-format costly periodicals, and petits journaux—small-format, low-priced dailies, sold primarily not to subscribers but through street sales. The impact of commercial and financial advertising on newspaper economics emerges. Grévy’s pronouncements on the press related mostly to the press of grands journaux. Wilson found himself dealing with the press of both grands journaux and petits journaux and with the impact of telegraphic transmission of news. Lists of Paris-based newspaper circulations in the early 1880s are appended.