Le Monde appoints first female editor-in-chief, Natalie Nougayrède

Le Monde has appointed its first female editor-in-chief, Natalie Nougayrède, the paper announced. She was selected by Le Monde’s three main shareholders – Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse – on February 13 and their choice was validated by the paper’s general assembly of editors on March 1.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | March 4, 2013

Nougayrède is 46 years-old, speaks fluent English, and started her career in journalism as a freelancer for another national French daily, Libération, Radio France International and the BBC’s French service. She joined Le Monde in 1997 and has worked in Georgia, Azerbaidjan, Ukraine, Russia and Kosovo.

In 2005 she received the prestigious Albert Londres Prize and the French Diplomatic Press Prize for her coverage of the Beslan hostage crisis and the Chechen conflict. She has been Le Monde’s diplomatic correspondent since 2005.

Unusually for a new director, Nougayrède has never had management responsibilities. She was seen as an outsider in the contest to take the position freed by the sudden death of former director Erik Izraelewicz in November.

With almost 80 percent of the votes of the paper’s general assembly, which consists of journalists from print and online versions of Le Monde, and of the magazine M, Nougayrède seems a popular choice. It will be interesting to see how the afternoon paper, which still has separate print and web operations, evolves under her leadership.

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