Is the French press really free?
Pierre Bergé, chairman of the World Supervisory Board, severely criticized the newspaper’s literary supplement in an interview with the political review “Charles”, drawing a detailed response from the Society of Daily Editors on Thursday.
“I most often disapprove of the literary supplement of the World. Because there is no talk about books, “said Mr. Bergé, accusing some columnists of not liking literature or books.
“It is extremely rare that in the supplement we talk about books, real books,” added the businessman, who says he prefers the Figaro books.
The board of managers of the Society of the Editors of the World
(SRM), in an internal press release, regretted that Mr. Bergé “ tries to intervene in the editorial line of the newspaper by hurtful remarks against the + World of Books + and all of its employees ”.
SRM “would like to remind the chairman of the supervisory board Pierre Bergé that he signed on November 2, 2010, with the two other shareholders Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel, the Le Monde group’s charter of ethics and professional conduct”.
The Charter, which defines the relationship between the newspaper’s owner and journalists, stipulates that “The shareholders of the Le Monde group guarantee the economic independence of its titles (…) but are careful not to intervene in their editorial choices and their treatment of information ”.
“We invite Mr. Bergé to reread the charter which he himself signed three years ago. We have a copy at their disposal, ”concludes SRM.
Does being a shareholder of a newspaper give rights to the editorial line of a newspaper?
On the other hand, the raw information, that on which any journalist relies to motivate his columns is that of AFP. AFP which also has a political line.
For example, information on the Nazi past of Bertelsmann
How far can the requirements of the financier go?
Who is the big boss then?
In 2009, the state officially got hold of AFP. Before that, the State placed conciliatory men at the helm of AFP, such as Jean Marin, elected to the direction of the Agency from 1957 to 1975.
The editorial line of the main source of information in France is mainly determined by the AFP CEOs who are linked to the State.
Thus the Press directs its ones towards themes and eludes others. The case of the coverage of the French action in Cote d’Ivoire “Operation Licorne” is almost that of a dictatorship. No image, no testimony, big headlines without explanation – the French government wanted to protect its economic interests. On the other hand, at the same period, the BBC did not hesitate to club its front pages of French military action in Cote d’Ivoire. It was then possible to lift the veil and discover the post-colonial actions of France in Africa.