Should the press company be refounded?

Companies. The long strike of journalists from Sunday newspaper did not bend the management of the company. However, many observers and public actors had supported their fight against the appointment of an editor whose values ​​they reject. This decision also clashed with the conception of the journalist as a professional attached to the freedom of investigation and the rigorous treatment of information, qualities whose absence in social networks is so denounced.

Still, from the point of view of law – and beyond the political colors of the protagonists – nothing prevents such a decision! Hence the return of an old project: that of a press company that is more respectful of its journalists. Except that today the reform of company law offers him new avenues.

The law of the press was above all founded on freedom. Freedom of the entrepreneur who can create a press company as he pleases. Freedom for everyone to exercise a journalistic activity as a freelancer or employee of these companies. Subsequent legislation has not departed from this principle. They wanted to protect the public by guaranteeing the transparency of shareholders and those responsible for publication; by limiting the influence of a single financier or that of foreigners.

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The profession of journalist does not require a diploma or a press card. And despite its usefulness (accreditations, protections, etc.), it is held by only a minority of journalists. Admittedly, a national authority validates the status of press company or that of professional journalist and international ethical charters govern the rights and duties of the press. But the labor code only marginally modifies the journalist’s salary status and does not give him any right to control the management of the press company (Journalists, employees like the others? Represent, participate, mobilize, by Camille Dupuy, University Press of Rennes, 2016).

Journalist companies or legal arrangements

This situation has led to the proliferation of journalists’ societies which carry the voice of the editorial staff, but without institutional legitimacy. Or the use of legal arrangements, like daily newspapers Release And The world, where journalists own a share of the company owning the media. The law has also established a “solidarity press information company”, which can only be owned by its employees. But these are ad hoc solutions that underline by contrast that a press company remains a company…

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