Paris Attacks: How European Media Covered Them

Shootings Near the Bataclan In Paris - H 2015
David Wolff-Patrick/Getty Images

News networks go wall-to-wall, and one French newspaper says on its front page: "This time, it is war."

The deadly Friday night attacks in Paris drew intense TV and newspaper coverage across Europe overnight and on Saturday.

Across the continent, news networks went wall-to-wall in their coverage of the events, reactions from politicians in various countries and the fallout.

Here is a look at how media in big European countries covered the story:

French media went into overdrive to cover the events and their fallout. Le Parisien on Saturday titled: "This time, it is war." L’Equipe ran a black front page with the headline "Horror" in red.

"War in the heart of Paris" was the headline of Le Figaro, while Liberation's headline said: "Carnage in Paris."

Like others, news network France 24 on its web site provided continuing coverage. Saturday morning, its homepage featured a slew of stories, including one citing an eye witness as saying: "There was blood everywhere."

The attacks were given blanket coverage across U.K. news channels from the moment the first reports emerged just before 10 p.m. local time on Friday. BBC News, ITV and Sky News all went to wall-to-wall coverage.

The attacks also dominated the front pages of Saturday newspapers. The Times and The Sun, both part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, described the attacks as a "massacre," while The Guardian’s front page initially reported “over 150 dead in Paris carnage,” a figure it lowered to 120 online later as further updates came through.

The Telegraph Saturday morning ran the headline "Paris attacks: Fears of more strikes to come as terrorists may be on the loose" on its web site, and The Independent site was also dominated by coverage of the attacks.

In Germany, broadsheet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called Friday "a night of horror." It also featured a homepage report on chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to hold a crisis meeting with her cabinet.

Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung called it "the darkest night" and Saturday morning led its homepage with an editorial entitled "Exporters of Death." It said: "The little bit of refugee help and the weak pressure on the godfathers of terror won't suffice in keeping the problems of the Muslim crisis regions from Europe." 

News network N-TV on its web site highlighted that it was the biggest terror attack in Europe in more than a decade. Its homepage lead story included a photo that showed a sign saying "Pray for Paris." Its live ticker also reported Saturday morning that the German national soccer team, which had played France in a friendly in Paris with French president Francois Hollande in attendance, had landed safely in Frankfurt. An explosion went off near the stadium during the match.

Italian news networks, including Sky and Rai, offered around-the-clock analysis to the attacks in Paris.

Newspapers dedicated entire front pages to coverage of the Paris atrocities. La Repubblica summarized the feelings of the French press with the headline "We are at war" and also dedicated coverage to U.S. president Barack Obama's reaction: "U.S. stands with France." Starting with the Charlie Hebdo attack, the paper described 2015 as "a year of blood" in the country.

Corriere della Sera covered the latest news in a live blog, telling the story through graphic images from Paris. Two Italians were among the injured, it reported.

Il Messaggero focused on Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi's reaction to the massacre. "The terrorists will not win," he said.

"We are by France's side not just in its pain, but also in its fight against terrorism," Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy said in a press conference Saturday morning that drew wide coverage by the country's media.

Spain has a long history of anti-terrorism collaboration with its Northern neighbor. Rajoy said Spain would offer all existing anti-terrorism response to France and assess if more resources are needed.

All of Spain's TV networks offered continuous news coverage of the attacks and their fallout, with roundtable discussions and video footage featured on many channels.

Madrid residents were scheduled to observe five minutes of silence at noon on Saturday in solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks.

Russian television and other news outlets splashed news of the Paris attacks across their headlines Saturday.

State network Channel One headlined a six-minute long report on the terrorist attacks "A bloody night in Paris." Russian viewers were shown graphic scenes of chaos and carnage. Saturday's midday report also included details about the ongoing anti-terror operation in the French capital and mobile phone footage showing bodies lying in pools of blood.

Business daily Kommersant gave over much of its homepage to the attack, quoting French president Francoise Holland's assertion that the attacks were "an act of war." It ran a photo gallery of images from the night's events.

State news agency TASS reported remarks by president Vladimir Putin that reiterated Russia's willingness to "cooperate closely in investigating the attacks." In a telegram to Hollande, Putin said, according to Russian media: "This tragedy has become further evidence of the barbaric nature of terrorism, which defies human civilization. It is obvious that an effective fight against this scourge requires real joint efforts of the international community."

In Canada, the Paris attacks also received major coverage across all media on Friday evening and into Saturday, especially in French-speaking Quebec. "Paris Struck Down By Barbarity," the Le Devoir newspaper emblazoned across its front page.

The mayor of Montreal held a press conference in which he reported speaking to his Parisian counterpart to express the shock and sympathy of Quebecers.

Canadian cable networks also carried a press conference by newly-elected prime minister Justin Trudeau. In both French and English, he expressed solidarity with "our French cousins" and called the Paris attacks "deeply worrying."

The CTV flagship national newscast had reports of Parisians lining up to give blood, as police and soldiers patrolled streets to protect the city ahead of the climate summit. CBC News included a report on around 500 Montrealers holding a solemn candle-light vigil outside the French consulate in Montreal on Friday evening. It said they sang, a number of times, the French national anthem La Marseillaise.

Coverage is planned for additional vigils on Saturday in French-speaking Quebec City and Ottawa, the national capital.


Rhonda Richford reported from Paris, Alex Ritman and Georg Szalai from London, Ariston Anderson from Rome, Pamela Rolfe from Madrid and Nick Holdsworth from Moscow. Etan Vlessing reported from Toronto.