Monday, May 23, 2011

Mauritius newspapers online

This is a list of the main newspapers in Mauritius as well as their websites. I suspect that this will mainly be of use to Mauritian expatriates since it is more customary for people in Mauritius to actually buy their newspapers (turns out the feel of paper in their hands is that important). This Mauritian newspaper list will also be helpful for those who wish to tour all the newspapers on any given day.

Le Défi

Le Défi is the most popular newspaper in Mauritius. While it was originally only published on Saturdays, its rapid popularity has seen the group expand into a few publications (basically milking the cashcow with Lepep Admirab).

Mauritius Newspapers - Le Defi Plus
These different newspapers include:
  • Le Défi Quotidien - which, as its name implies, comes out every day (except weekends)

  • Le Défi Plus - is published on Saturdays only

  • Défi Sexo - a newspapers that deals with sexuality and is a half-assed attempt to get easy sales by exploiting the sexual frustrations present in a big portion of the Mauritian population (which, you know, eventually leads to sexual assaults and rapes)

  • There are a couple of other newspapers such as L'Hebdo and News on Sunday that form part of the Le Défi Media Group.
Le Défi has consistently been the most popular newspaper in Mauritius thanks to its timely articles, its breaking news, the willingness of its journalists to go the extra mile, and its adaptability when it comes to giving the Mauritius population what the latter really likes in terms of news (and lack of). Unfortunately, it is often excessively guilty of flaunting unconfirmed rumors as breaking news and often exaggerates even the most trivial of news.

Website: Le Défi Media Group

Although there are no real stats to know which Mauritius newspaper has the most visited website (for all intents and purposes, the official Le Defi website does not even seem to use Google Analytics), it is fairly obvious that it is also the most read online newspapers. It is updated every day, and uses an intuitive and straight-forward layout. It used to have a horrible Comments system, but has since switched to the well-known Disqus plugin. Comments are approved quickly enough, and these seem to be well moderated.

L'Express

L'Express is a Mauritius newspaper that comes out every morning and has a good following, especially its Sunday version (pictured below; the other days' format is different).


Mauritius news L'Express
Website: Lexpress.mu


As long as the right-most advertisements are ignored, it is also a decent website. It however suffers from one of the worst commenting systems I have ever seen where you enter your comments in a simple HTML form and the latter is not visible by default (you need to click on an arrow to view it). They seem to be rather edgy about accepting comments, which is quite ironic coming from a newspaper.

As an example, following Microsoft's acquisition of Skype on Tuesday 10 May 2011, some genius at L'Express posted a news article about how "Microsoft could maybe buy Skype" on Wednesday 11 May. This is a whole day after the deal actually went through, and Microsoft's interest in Skype was already going around the major US tech news websites as early as Monday 09 May (in fact, the deal was agreed on the 9th, but released officially on the 10th). My comment pointing this out on the article was never approved, which is funny coming from a newspaper that's making a fuss about their rights to publish information without being harassed by the ever present Mauritius government.

Le Mauricien


News Mauritius Le Mauricien
The Mauritius newspaper Le Mauricien also consists of a few publications:
  • Le Mauricien - which is published in the afternoon from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday mornings

  • Week-End - which comes out on Sundays and is quite possibly the finest Sunday newspaper due to the great editorial sections by Jean Claude Antoine and a couple of other journalists. If you want to read grade A journalism in Mauritius, this is the newspaper you need to check out.

  • Scope - a magazine published on Wednesdays. This Mauritius magazine is focused on entertainment. It used to be very popular before but is now dying a slow and painful death like Fernando Torres's career.
Website: Le Mauricien

Seriously? This is the worst website ever and seems to predate even the Internet. It uses frames and tiny buttons, and basically does everything a website should never do. If you want to read a Mauritius newspaper online, you're better off checking another newspaper's website rather than lose your time browsing this mess. This is quite funny given that the traditional newspaper is actually reall good. I am of the opinion that they don't really care about the website.

Le Matinal

Le Matinal is a Mauritius newspaper that comes out in the morning and that since grown in popularity quite rapidly.

Newspaper Mauritius Le Matinal
Website: Le Matinal

The official Le Matinal website is possibly the best website of the whole bunch. They obviously have taken a lot of care in designing the website, and it makes full use of popular options such as the comment tool Disqus and is fully search engine optimized (which is ironic because the designer's personal website is not). The website is very easy to browse and well-moderated.

If you wish to keep updated with your news from Mauritius online, you should definitely check out the Le Matinal website from time to time.

5-Plus Dimanche

This very popular Mauritius newspaper comes out only on Sundays, and is visibly different from other Sunday newspapers in its format. Like Weekend, it boasts a couple of fantastic journalists, and their editorials are always spot on. They also have some great sections and seem to have found the perfect balance to catering to the various demographics in Mauritius (which is actually harder than it appears).

Their inability to cover late English matches can however be infuriating - the last Saturday Premier League match will at worst finish at 22.30 (Mauritius time) and they apparently cannot include these scores in the newspaper, which makes them as slow as a fully fit Andy Carroll.

Mauritius News 5-Plus Dimanche
Website: 5-Plus Dimanche

The 5-Plus Dimanche website is well-maintained and has an easy-to-browse architecture but it is aligned to the left, which does my head in. The home page is also a huge pain in the ass, with a right menu that is way too long with respect to the main content area. They should either trim down this menu or get around to adding more headlines on the home page. This being Mauritius, I don't think it should be hard to find more news to include on the home page.

Note: a second article on the Mauritius news websites was posted in mid-October here and can be found here. It is also a must-read!