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Francoise Giroud

(1916–2003)


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GIROUD, FRANÇOISE (France Gourdji; 1916–2003), French journalist and writer. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Giroud, an ardent polemicist, was a major figure in the political press in France. In 1953, she co-founded with Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber one of France's first news magazines, L'Express, which began as a weekly supplement of Les Echos, a daily newspaper specializing in economics, but soon became a mainstay of France's political landscape. Giroud's journalistic motto was "understanding quickly how things work, and helping people to understand quickly." L'Express was aimed at revolutionizing the French press by "telling people the truth," in Servan-Schreiber's words; important writers took part in the project, including left-wing thinkers like Camus and Sartre and center-right writers like Malraux and Mauriac. From the beginning, L'Express voiced strong and clear opinions against colonial wars, which were often met with censorship from the State. Giroud, a journalist and political columnist for most of her life, also held government positions as secretary of state for the condition of women (1974) and secretary of state for culture (1976–79). An outspoken, but moderate feminist, she played a vital role in the creation of a feminist press in France, and directed the monthly women's magazine Elle. From 1983 on, she was an editorialist and columnist on the center-left weekly Le Nouvel Observateur. Her published books include Lou, histoire d'une femme libre (2004), Les taches du léopard (2005), and Une Femme honorable (1982).


Sources:F. Giroud, Profession journaliste, conversations avec Martine de Rebaudy (2001).

[Dror Franck Sullaper (2nd ed.)]

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