04 April 2007
 
Morocco:
A Moroccan daily for free

au fait is the first free daily to be launched in Morocco, which already has several free weeklies. With a circulation of 10,000 copies, this newspaper is distributed from Monday to Friday by a team of fourteen peddlers in Casablanca and three in Rabat since 1 March 2007, it will soon be available in Marrakech. « You can also find it in chic cafes such as Frères Gourmets, Paul ... and we are very proud to be on board of some Royal Air Maroc flights », said Réda Sedrati, 26, publishing director.
Launched by Devocean, a web service company created in Canada, the French-language au fait, which is targets readers in the range from 25 to 40 years, claims to be a civic newspaper. Among recent page one stories published by this 16-page full color tabloid : domestic exploitation of little girls headlined « that's enough!»,
«rain at last» or the «intertnational festival of magic arts in Marrakesh».
The daily's editorial team is composed of two desk editors and one single journalist. Only 10 percent of its content is exclusive, the 90 remaining percent comes from Agence France Presse (AFP) or Maghreb Arab Press, (MAP), the Moroccan press agency. "au fait is meant to be read quickly. Its mission is not to provide in-depth analysis articles," said Sedrati. Despite its very small editorial team, au fait (which roughly translated means "to be informed") employs seven full time people entirely dedicated to selling ads. Are they getting good results? "Advertisers are enthusiastic but still have to confirm their interest. If you are asking me whether the market is ready, only time will tell", said Sedrati.
The success of free dailies in Europe and elsewhere was certainly a reason for launching au fait. However Sedrati points out that there was a void on the market of Moroccan dailies, inhabited by
« ageing and partisan newspapers which are not reflective of a part of Moroccans », was one of the main reasons why this generalist title was created. « The right to free information is now common place thanks to the Internet and one should not have to pay to be informed », said Sedrati. "We were surprised to see how quickly people were seduced, even if the concept of free newspapers was something completely unknown to them. People keep asking our peddlers : "Are you sure, I have nothing to pay?" We also receive frequent calls from companies wishing to have au fait for their customers", he added.
It will not come as a surprise if other free dailies, Arabic or French speaking, appear soon in Morocco.
To visit the online version of this French-speaking daily go to http://www.aufait.ma