This is one of the first French podcasts I downloaded and one of the best. At first I couldn't understand much despite the fact that it's been slowed down for us French learners.. but now I am happy to say I can understand almost everything they are saying.
I also read Lemonde.fr daily and can understand almost everything there too so my conclusion is that the news is pretty easy to understand!
1. I already know the news in English so when I read it in French I already have a pretty good idea of what I'm reading/hearing. So many words are similar to English so you can guess, even if you have never heard of the word before. Words like gouvernement and situation politique and président are pretty easy to guess, if I didn't know them already.
2. They use words common to day to day speech, unlike in novels where the language is more flowery, descriptive and the vocab is slightly different. Even with children's story books there can be many words I don't know which seems strange considering they're aimed at 8 year olds.
Anyway, I LOVE the Journal en Français Facile. The 10-minute length is just perfect for my attention span and I get a dose of the news as well as being able to practise my listening skills. It airs almost every day and starting 26 March they now have a text summary alongside it which appears in iTunes. Great for reading practise too - bonus!