The Council of State orders Arcom to re-examine CNews’ compliance with its obligations in terms of pluralism

The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) seized the highest administrative court in 2022 regarding the CNews channel. The Council of State rendered its decision on Tuesday February 13, asking Arcom, the media regulator, to strengthen its control over the news channel in the hands of conservative billionaire Vincent Bolloré.

In its decision, the highest administrative court “directs Arcom to re-examine within six months compliance by the CNews channel with its obligations in terms of pluralism and independence of information”according to a communicated. This decision is in line with the NGO’s desire for the regulatory authority to be more uncompromising on the counting of political speaking times, particularly with the channels of the Canal+ group.

The Council of State judges that, to assess the respect by a television channel, whatever it may be, of the pluralism of information, Arcom must take into account the diversity of currents of thought and opinions represented by all participants in broadcast programs, including columnists, hosts and guests, and not just the speaking time of political figures”, argues the high court.

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He adds : “The Council of State also judges that Arcom must ensure the independence of information within the channel by taking into account all of its operating conditions and the characteristics of its programming, and not only from the sequence of an extract from a particular program ».

“Great victory” and “historic decision” hailed by RSF

RSF’s lawyer, Me Spinosi, welcomed this decision to the World : “This is a very big victory for freedom of information and pluralism in the media. For the first time, the Council of State requires Arcom, just as we asked it, to monitor respect for pluralism on all CNews programs. »

“It goes even further by requiring the regulator to ensure that the effective independence of the channel is guaranteed with regard to the influence that its shareholders can exercise on the editorial line. Arcom’s passivity is sanctioned,” he added.

According to the lawyer“the RSF association will continue to ensure that these requirements are scrupulously respected”. The general secretary of the association, Christophe Deloire, also welcomed X of this decision which represents, according to him, “a great victory for RSF but above all a historic decision for democracy and journalism”.

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The World with AFP

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