Journalists ask Rachida Dati to guarantee the independence of the editorial staff

Around forty journalists’ societies, twenty media outlets and unions are calling on the Minister of Culture Rachida Dati to “guarantee the independence of the editorial staff”, after the crisis at the regional daily ProvenceTuesday in a forum at World.

“The interest of the shareholder cannot compromise the independence of the journalist,” assures Rachida Dati

Journalists from the regional daily went on strike for 72 hours, in reaction to the dismissal of the editorial director, after a front page on Emmanuel Macron’s visit deemed “ambiguous” by management.

The management of the regional newspaper, owned by the shipowner CMA CGM of billionaire Rodolphe Saadé, having decided to reinstate Aurélien Viers, the employees chose Monday to return to work.

This sequence “alerts us” like, “that of Echoeswhich has now lasted for almost a year”, underline these societies of journalists, including that of the AFP, as well as these media including Mediapart and Disclose, the trade union organizations CFDT-Journalistes, SNJ, SNJ-CGT and FILPAC- CGT and the Article 34 and Un Bout des Médias associations.

“The one and only way to produce quality, verified, sourced and honest information is to guarantee the independence of journalists and editorial staff,” they remind Rachida Dati. The minister told deputies last Thursday that “today, the law is very clear: the interest of the shareholder cannot compromise the independence of the journalist.”

A bill soon in the Assembly

She was questioned about the recent statements of Rodolphe Saadé, who is preparing to buy Altice Media (BFMTV, RMC…) and tried to reassure the staff representatives of his desire not to directly interfere in the work of the editorial staff.

“There are still a lot of guarantees” for journalists, particularly since the Bloche law of 2016, noted Ms. Dati: generalization of the right of opposition, negotiation of ethics charters in each press company…

The signatories of the platform plead to go further. A bill from environmentalist MP Sophie Taillé-Polian, on the agenda of the National Assembly on April 4, provides for the creation of a right of approval for journalists on the appointment of the editorial director. The adoption of this text would constitute an “important first step”.

But this seems compromised after the rejection in the Affairs and Culture Committee on Tuesday of Ms. Taillé-Polian’s text. The MP regretted in a press release that “the majority MPs are using the pretext of holding the States General of Information to call for the rejection of a text that they themselves describe as “fair” and “legitimate”.

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