Paris Attack: How European Newspaper Front Pages Covered It

The Independent

Many French front pages go black, while a sports daily titles "Freedom 0-Barbarism 12" and Britain's 'Independent' features a cartoon of a hand showing the middle finger

Wednesday’s deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo dominated the Thursday headlines of newspapers not only in France, but across Europe.

While some headlines focused on the 12 deaths and the violence, others highlighted how the attack was a strike against freedom of speech.

French papers all honored Charlie Hebdo on their front pages, many of which were held in black as a sign of mourning.

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Le Parisien used such a black front page with the words "They will not kill freedom" and an up-close photo of marchers holding signs saying “Je Suis Charlie,” French for “I Am Charlie.”

Le Telegramme, a regional paper in the Brittany region, also went with a black front page, with "Charlie Hebdo" and the names of the five identified victims in red and "Assassinated" superimposed. Southern regional Sud Ouest was black with the word "Non” in large white letters.

Nice Matin, the Cote d'Azur paper, was also black with a small center photo of marchers holding up "Je Suis Charlie" posters, with the words "All United" above, in all caps, in white.

L'Humanite was black, with the words "Freedom is being murdered" on its front page. Free daily 20 Minutes was also black, with the word "Barbaric" printed in white. Religious paper La Croix wrote "Bruised France" below a cartoon drawing saying "freedom of expression" with ink spilled over it to obscure some words.

Even French sports daily L’Equipe covered the topic, with a cartoon of sports spectators under a scoreboard saying Freedom 0 – Barbarism 12.

In the U.K., The Independent featured a cartoon of a hand emerging from a bloody copy of Charlie Hebdo, holding a pen and showing the middle finger. J.K. Rowling and others retweeted that image.

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The Guardian’s front page was dedicated to the attack with a picture from a Paris gathering late on Wednesday at which people carried signs saying “Je Suis Charlie,” The paper’s headline: “An assault on democracy.”

Meanwhile, The Times spoke of an “Attack on Freedom.” The Telegraph called it “War on Freedom,” just like the Daily Mail, which also used a picture of a street scene during the attack on its front page. Tabloid The Sun, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, kept things short in its headline, simply saying: “Non!”

In Germany, tabloid Bild went with the headline “Cowardly Murderers,” while quality daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung titled “A Barbaric Act.” The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was drier, saying: “Terror Attack in Paris Shocks the World.”

The Berliner Kurier took things further than others with a cover page showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad bathing in blood reading a copy of Charlie Hebdo and the headline: "No, You Can't Kill Our Freedom."

In Italy, likely most controversial front page was that of center-right daily Libero, which ran the headline “This is Islam” above a photo of an officer being shot by one of the attackers.

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In Russia, the website for popular daily tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, in Soviet times the organ of the Young Communist League, ran a photo of a black “Je Suis Charlie” flag surrounded by candles at a Parisian shrine to the attack under the headline.

In Japan, newspaper front pages also featured the news. The conservative Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's biggest newspaper, titled “Islamic Extremists Attack, France in Shock, on Terror Alert.” A second headline added: “Memorial Demonstrations for Shooting Victim in France, Around 100,000 People Participate.” Meanwhile, the left-of-center Asahi Shimbun in its headline spoke of “Growing Concern About Islamic Extremist Actions in Western Countries.”