The death of Jean-Louis Aragon, former journalist at “Le Monde”, talented technician and teacher

Journalist at Le Monde from 1994 to 2011, Jean-Louis Aragon died of cancer on November 3, 2023, in Pons (Charente-Maritime), at the age of 71

The death of Jean-Louis Aragon, former journalist at “Le Monde”, talented technician and teacher

Journalist at Le Monde from 1994 to 2011, Jean-Louis Aragon died of cancer on November 3, 2023, in Pons (Charente-Maritime), at the age of 71. Born in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) on May 19, 1952 in a family originally from Jaca (in the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain), he studied modern literature in Pau, Toulouse, Madrid and Salamanca , building an impressive literary and artistic erudition. Double bassist in small jazz groups, then restaurateur, he approached journalism from the technical side, first in the women's periodical press.

He participated in the ephemeral but intense and innovative existence of the daily Le Sport in 1987-1988, several journalists of which subsequently joined the editorial staff of Le Monde. Then he created and ran a small training company in editorial IT techniques.

In 1994, Le Monde celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and launched a “new formula” for the daily, under the leadership of Jean-Marie Colombani, the newspaper’s director. It was necessary to bring a team of journalists with strong personalities into the movement, and to achieve a successful amalgamation with new collaborators. This endeavor took time and effort. To engage in a modernization process which has not stopped since, Le Monde deployed a new IT system to facilitate collaborative work, organized around a database, with a copy circuit describing each step , from writing to layout of the journal, before enriching the documentation. The young editorial IT team has been strengthened, under the supervision of Noël-Jean Bergeroux and the inspiration of Jean-François Fogel, around José Bolufer, IT director, and Eric Azan, technical editor-in-chief. Jean-Louis Aragon then joined her.

A new type of journalist, he was a specialist in the tools making up the graphics chain, from writing to layout, image processing and computer graphics. He had been a trainer on the reference software of the time (XPress), knew the machines of the manufacturer Apple inside out. He wrote technical documentation for the editorial team's new IT tool and took charge of the training of a large number of journalists. Its particularly colorful and didactic instructions have remained a reference for almost ten years, an eternity for today's computer scientists.

Competence, patience and kindness

Jean-Louis Aragon joined a plural technical team, with multiple statuses, made up of computer scientists (some coming from abroad), developers, computer maintenance technicians, former typographers and other technicians in the sector. He was the only journalist on the team, the teacher, the one who wrote the explanations accompanying the new tools, the “Mr. Professional Training”, with his taste for fine work, his patience, his tenacity and his kindness. But he also had character! His colleagues remember some memorable spats, which invariably ended around a table or with the conclusion of a “peace of the brave”.

Jean-Louis Aragon then joined the editorial team for less technical and more editorial adventures. Le Monde had chosen to considerably strengthen its treatment of sport, which quickly materialized in the special sections devoted to the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 and the 1998 Football World Cup. At the same time, “Le Monde des books” has often entrusted him with the presentation of works of Hispanic literature.

His discreet, affable and smiling temperament facilitated the approach of sports champions for noticed portraits. He remained faithful, as always, to the transmission of picaresque culture. His competence and the fluidity of his writing have attracted many fans of cycling, rugby and golf, a discipline of which he has become a convinced follower.

His professional retirement has not altered his freshness and creativity. In the old farm where he had left his bag, in the middle of the Saintonge countryside, he explored with dazzling talent the wealth of visual options for working on wood, with the approval and encouragement of experienced artists, who have become his friends. This abundant work will be present in a space dedicated to the transmission of various forms of culture for all audiences. Brigitte, his wife, and his sons, Raphaël, Pablo and Manuel, are committed to the same path, which he was particularly proud of.