The editor of
Demorand, who took over as editor in
"I've had to deal with severe crises during my three years at Liberation," he said, "but it's the first time that it seems clear that it's me who has to go."
Last Friday, after a 24-hour strike, journalists were stunned to learn of a plan by shareholders to revamp the paper's
Newsroom staff responded by producing a front page declaring: "We are a newspaper . . . not a restaurant, not a social network, not a cultural space, not a television studio, not a bar and not an incubator for startups."
Liberation was co-founded by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973 as a voice for the people and as an antidote to "supine" journalism. The first issue of the paper on
Journalists said the shareholders' plan suggested many ways of making money from the Liberation trademark and building, but made no mention of journalism.
Demorand's resignation comes three months after a gunman opened fire in the
Demorand told Le Monde he had spent the past three years looking for money to keep the paper afloat and pay salaries as sales dropped. Several times he thought it might have to close, leaving him to "put the key under the door".
He said journalists had refused to accept plans to "completely rebuild" Liberation into a multimedia organisation centred on the newspaper, which he believed was essential for its future.
"Liberation is still a business dominated by 'print first'. For the past three years, my idea has been to take the paper into the digital age and profoundly transform our way of working."
He added: "Diversifying is necessary for the written press today because it [a paper] cannot survive alone, but it cannot be just done around a strong paper and website. Peripheral activities have to be used in the production of quality journalism. This is why I suggested the idea of opening our building to the public, while keeping the newsroom in place."
"The two sides are face to face in a standoff. It's a situation that is quite classic in the press in many countries, but it is sad that a paper like Liberation that shook up everything in the 1970s and 1980s was unable to follow through and keep shaking things up."
Haski added: "It's a scenario that could perhaps be extended to the whole of French society."
Nicolas Demorand said he was part of the problem in a diversification dispute
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- Apple, HP, Intel May Take a Hit from Slowdown in Smartphone Sales Growth
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Marries Model Courtney Bingham
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- FDIC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Banks Allegedly Hurt by Libor Scandal
- Chinese e-Commerce Giant Alibaba Gears for IPO in U.S.
- Some California Cities Seeking Water Independence
- Quiznos Files for Chapter 11