XXI marks the spot— Paris


With no advertising, no marketing and limited online presence, the success of ‘XXI’ magazine has proven that readers do not need much persuasion to pay for beautifully presented, long-form journalism.

Laurent Beccaria, Les Arènes, Magazine, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry

In the narrow streets of Saint Germain, where buildings seem to sag under the weight of their literary heritage, the doors and windows of XXI magazine are left wide open, and fresh air blows through the offices. Simply known as “vingt et un”, the magazine was launched in 2008, just as the death of print journalism was hastily being announced.

Laurent Beccaria, head of independent publishing house Les Arènes, and renowned journalist Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, had decided to launch the ­magazine they wished existed. “The aim was to create a post…

Mook and learn

“Mook” is the marketing term used to describe the illustrated, ad-free “half magazine, half book” format now seen on dedicated stands in French bookshops. Usbek & Rica was launched in 2010, combining reportage and graphic novel style with a focus on forecasting and innovation. It has recently paused publication until further notice. Feuilleton is the latest contender, launched in September, with a more literary focus. But it remains to be seen whether XXI and 6 Mois will still have company on the shelves once the hype has died down.


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