Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 21 Financial and Circulation Problems at La Victoire
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Part of Hervé’s effort to win over the French Left made it mandatory that La Victoire become a newspaper for a mass readership in order to be a viable alternative to L’Humanité. For that reason La Victoire included regular serial articles as well as weekly features on medicine, music, and literature. It created special sections for students as well as younger children, and it began a sports section, which often became a full page, in order to rival features found in L’Humanité. Hervé claimed to not care for sensational and scandalous stories, but he realized it would be journalistic suicide not to print them.1 During the era from 1932 to 1933 when Marcel Bucard was the Editor-in-Chief, La Victoire included a regular feature by Bucard for anciens combattants. Such features illustrate Hervé’s desire to create “a paper as complete as the great journaux d’information yet remaining an organe de propagande et de bataille.”2 Partly for financial reasons, Hervé’s efforts to make La Victoire a great daily mass newspaper failed. La Victoire had no correspondents and most of its news was Parisian. Investigative journalism was not the forte of writers at La Victoire.3
Yet the main reason for the poor circulation and incessant financial predicaments of La Victoire was the nature of its message. La Victoire was a political newspaper that believed politics to be a sign of corruption. It called for an elite to save France from decay, division, and disorder,...