François Dufour

Francois Dufour is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Mon Quotidien, the first daily for kids launched in France on January 5, 1995. He is also editor-in-chief of prize-winning Le Petit Quotidien and L’ACTU, both created in 1998. These three dailies have around 120,000 subscribers in France, whereof 10,000 are classes.

They are the only existing dailies for kids in Europe, even in the Western world. They come out every day of the week (except Sundays), only by subscription and are meant for kids between 7 and 17 and their parents. They also have an extra weekly supplement in English: My Weekly.
Dufour is also editor-in-chief for L’ÉCO, a business weekly to help youngsters understand the basics of economy through the everyday news. Play Bac Presse received in 2009 the Prix Dauphine-IPJ for its “simple way of explaining economy.”

Born in 1961, Dufour graduated from Sciences Po (Paris). He invented the curriculum quiz game Play Bac together with two childhood friends, Jérôme Saltet and Gaëtan Burrus, in a train between Paris and le Touquet on October 19, 1985. They then created the publishing house Éditions Play Bac in order to publish it. They are also the creators of the curriculum-based quiz decks Les Incollables sold throughout the world in more than 60 million copies, known in the USA as Brain Quest (licensed to Workman Publishing).

Years after passing his French Baccalaureat in 1979, François Dufour tried to do the same without any preparation in 2006, did poorly but succeeded. This experience is detailed in a book Comment ne pas rater son bac (Librio, 2006).

François Dufour is a board member of the World Association of Newspapers, representing the French national newspapers. Francois Dufour is the author of an essay critical to his peers: Les journalistes français sont-ils si mauvais ? (Larousse, 2009). No surprise he decided for his newsroom to commit to the Code of Ethics of the…American journalists (SPJ).

A fine connaisseur of Japan (where he lived) and the United States (he owns a flat in Manhattan), he is an Eisenhower Fellow (1998) and a Young Leader of the French-American Foundation (2005).

In France, François Dufour is a jury member of the Prix Clara, a literary award for young writers of short stories, since 2007.

Being an admirer of Nelson Mandela, he co-translated his biography written by Bill Keller, then editor-in-chief of The New York Times. The book was published in France in 2010 – by L’Actu/La Table Ronde – to celebrate the 20 years liberation of the “last hero of the 20th century.”

Francois Dufour became famous in France for tweeting the DSK arraignment from inside the court room (a scoop) in Manhattan, on May 16, 2011. He wrote about this exceptional Sofitel case the book “DSK, May 16, 2011. From the Perp walk to Rikers island” (Editions KatouMalou).

In 2013, he also wrote “The Assassination of JFK” for the 50th anniversary. According to the evidence, Francois Dufour writes: “Oswald did it alone and Ruby did it alone”.

In 2015, after 10 years of reporting about migrants from the Lampedusa island (Italy), Francois Dufour decided to write an op-ed published all around the globe (Daily Telegraph, Clarin, Hurryet, JDD, Obs, Huffington Post…). His solution to avoid all the shipwrecks and drownings is “to grant the refugee status on the other side of the Medieterranean and bring the refugees to Europe…by plane.”

He is the winner of 2015 immigration Journalism Award for his Series: Lampedusa Migrant Crisis Explained to the Young Ones
Le Périple de Sihan, 17 ans, Africaine Réfugiée en Europe, L’ACTUDe l’Afrique à L’Europe, Destin d’un Boat People, L’ÉCODes Milliers d’Africains Naviguent vers Europe, MON QUOTIDIEN

Learn more about the Immigration Journalism Award

Learn more about the Young Leaders Program

Learn more about the 2005 Young Leaders