The Press: Boring from Within

Communist newspapers in the West are too dull even for Communists. At a meeting of France's Communist Central Committee, Party Secretary Etienne Fajon, 48, explained why the circulation of France's Communist L'Humanité has slipped from 500,000 to 120,000 in the past nine years. Said he: "L'Humanité is boring. The paper suffers from a series of consecrated formulas and stereotyped vocabulary . . . Our journalistic language is frightfully poor. This comes from a paralyzing fear of not using the same terms as the party's official documents."

In seeming response to Fajon's orders, L'Humanité promptly filled its columns with sports news, nonpolitical features,...

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