France’s evening newspaper Le Monde has unveiled an initiative designed to broaden both its perspective and its reach. Le Monde Académie, launched Wednesday, is a two-part competition and training programme that will offer 68 aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to be mentored by the newspaper's staff and published within its pages. It will culminate a year from now, with three ambitious young talents receiving a rare prize: jobs within one of France’s best-respected media companies.
“Me, a journalist?” reads an advertisement featuring a girl with asymmetrically cut hair, introduced in the caption as Léa, a 24-year-old educator from Montréal. The ad campaign, released in Thursday's newspaper with a front-page editorial from the publication's director Erik Izraelewicz, emphasizes that budding journalists aged between 18 and 25 from across the French-speaking world are invited to apply, regardless of their level of academic attainment. With the Monde académie, the 68-year-old daily is seeking new voices from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, which will attract new eyes to a publication that has traditionally been written by and for an educated elite.