Labeling information at the heart of Franceinfo and LCI’s ambitions

They are called “Verifiers”, “Observers” or even “Revelators”, and their mission is to label information to guarantee its reliability. This season, they will be at work on the global public service media (radio, Web and television) Franceinfo, but also, and this is newer, on LCI. In this fall, rather than on faces or programs, the two least watched news channels of the four market players emphasize the strength of their information.

“We are all convinced that our country needs information much more than conversations on platforms that divide and harm democracy”, supports Sibyle Veil, the president of Radio France, stakeholder of Franceinfo as well as France Télévisions, France Médias Monde and the INA, in a thinly veiled reference to CNews. If this niche of “Reference information” notes for the public channel of the need, at its birth five years ago, to dig a different path from that of its competitors (without additional expenses), it is at LCI a new inflection.

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“French society is sufficiently anxious and divided not to add more”, defends Fabien Namias, the boss of LCI, to justify the change made on his antenna on August 30. Regretting that “The logic of all-debate seemed to be gaining ground”, he asked 20 of the 50 columnists and editorial writers hosted on the air last season to stay at home. “We prioritize images, facts, decryption, and verification”, insists Mr. Namias.

“French society is sufficiently anxious and divided not to add more”, Fabien Namias, boss of LCI

About forty journalists (there were three a year ago), named the “Auditors”, are devoted exclusively to the fight against “fake news”, thus irrigating the morning (6 am to 9 am) and the program of David Pujadas (6 pm to 8 pm). The arrival of Paul Larrouturou, ex-Day-to-day (TMC), within “Ruth Elkrief 2022” (8 pm to 10 pm) accentuates this desire to give priority to decryption. Likewise, rather than outside commentators, the group’s information figures (Catherine Jentile) will deliver their TF1-stamped expertise on set, whenever the news requires it.

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On the side of Franceinfo, “Observers” from France 24 (a program produced from amateur content certified by the editorial staff) are now added to “Revealers”. This unit, common to the public audiovisual editorial staff, has the task of verifying the images, in order to track down the “Deep fakes” (false images made credible by technology and artificial intelligence), but also the misappropriation of which they can be the object (such as those which, in recent days, attribute to the Americans tanks abandoned in Afghanistan, while ‘is Russian equipment), explains Laurent Guimier, the news director of France Télévisions.

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