Newspaper poster


First World War poster advertising the French daily newspaper L'Echo de Paris featuring a story about Bertha Krupp, the daughter of the German armaments king who gave her name to the famous long-range cannon, the Big Bertha.

Just before the First World War there were in France some 250 local newspapers, 20 or so regional ones and about 50 papers of national importance in Paris with circulations ranging from a mere 500 to several hundred thousand.

But the lion’s share belonged to the ‘penny press’ (or presse à un sou which cost, as its name implies, 5 centimes). Not very political, it owed its large circulation to its coverage of the sensational and human interest stories. To attract the masses it published competitions, puzzles and illustrated supplements, which brought it close to another category of periodical, the magazine.

The four main titles sharing this market in France were Le Petit Journal, Le Petit Parisien, Le Matin and Le Journal, soon to be joined by the Echo de Paris.