The Tinus Trust

20 Minutes: Best international news coverage in France

Against the tendencies among other French newspapers, 20 Minutes is increasing its focus on international news, traveling far and wide to provide its readers with news reports from all over the world. Earlier this week the free newspaper was awarded the prestigious “Grand Prix de la Presse Internationale”.


Ever since it was launched in France in 2002, 20 Minutes has been working hard to be accepted as a serious, independent news provider, both in print and online, in spite of the fact that its contents are free of charge. And 20 Minutes conscious efforts are paying off. On Tuesday December 6th 20 Minutes was awarded the French Foreign Press Association’s prestigious “Grand Prix” for international news coverage, in the category "written media".

- We see this prize as an acknowledgement of 20 Minutes’ eight years of hard work to produce high quality content while constantly developing our brand, says Editorial Director Yvon Mézou, who received the prize on 20 Minutes’ behalf.

20 Minutes: Best international news coverage in France

Editorial Director Yvon Mézou (left) has reason to be proud of 20 Minutes's international news coverage. Here with Ruggero de Pas, vice president of FPA, and journalist of Radiotelevisione Svizzera (RTSI).

Almost 400 foreign journalists are members of the Foreign Press Association (Association de la presse étrangère - FPA) in France. Every year they elect the best representatives from French media based on their coverage and quality of international news. In a period of time when many other French newspapers are cutting back on foreign news, 20 Minutes has actually increased its international focus.

- In addition to being the most read newspaper in France, 20 Minutes is the only free newspaper that covers important international news. Currently, between two and four of our journalists are covering foreign news, while another three journalists in the sports section write about foreign events too, explains Yvon.

In addition to its daily coverage of general world news, 20 Minutes’ reports from all over the world have definitely caught the attention of both the Foreign Press Association – and the readers. In the course of 2010, the newspaper’s journalists have been to Afghanistan to write about US marine officers' training of Afghan police officers, in Iraq following French entrepreneurs who want to do business, in Haiti covering the earth quake, in Chad looking at the phenomena of new social business, in South Africa for the world cup in football, and in Canada for the Olympic Games.

- At the moment, one of our journalists is in Haiti covering the presidential elections. Another one just came back from covering the “gold war” in Guyana. Undoubtedly, the work of these journalists contributes to a positive work environment in our newsroom.

Earlier this fall, 20 Minutes ended its collaboration with the French Press Agency (AFP).
- In the market, I think 20 Minutes’ image and brand is perceived as stronger and more serious than ever. The decision to break with AFP gave a new impression of 20 Minutes’ brand both among our readers and in the media industry. Many colleagues in other French media have shown true interest in our decision and how 20 Minutes has organized its newsroom, Yves says.



20 Minutes: Best international news coverage in France

Iraq by 20 Minutes/Sébastien Ortola