Since 1897, L. Gaumont et Cie has intermittently produced newsreels .
In 1910, Gaumont launched its weekly newsreel, Gaumont Actualités. The presence of Gaumont branches worldwide lent the newsreels an international, universal flavour .
During World War I, Gaumont sent cameraman Pierre Perrin to the front, where he worked with the Section Cinématographique des Armées (the film division of France's armed forces) .
France celebrated its victory in 1918 with a national parade, filmed by Gaumont using the Chronochrome process (a camera with three lenses that recorded images in blue, green and red simultaneously) that had been perfected by Léon Gaumont .
“Talkies” emerged in the 1930s and enjoyed tremendous success with the public. The first edition of France Actualités Gaumont with spoken commentary first appeared in October 1932 .
The newsreels gained more and more viewers every day, as they represented a unique source of information for the working classes and provided a window on the world and the major events of the period's turbulent years: the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial, the Spanish Civil War and the explosion of the German airship, the Hindenburg .
In 1940, The German single-programme policy in occupied France pushed Société Nouvelle des Etablissements Gaumont (SNE Gaumont) to counter with a programme for unoccupied France, produced with Pathé’s assistance: Pathé Journal de Marseille (or Journal de vichy), which was broadcast from 1940 to 1942. From 1942 until 1944, however, France Actualités – produced by a Franco-German company – held monopoly broadcasting rights for the whole of France. Gaumont Journal came back to the screens in 1946 .
Over the following decades, Gaumont continued to produce reports that captured the climate of each era, mixing stories on sports, politics, society and everyday life, both national and international, from small incidents to major events .
The late 1960s marked the inexorable expansion of television. As a result, it became increasingly difficult to sustain newsreel production, and Gaumont decided to bring this activity to a close in the mid-1970s. With the newsreel reaching the end of its shelf life, Gaumont created a new genre, the Document de la Semaine, a format mid-way between a news report and short film that lasted until 1980 .