Ihe information is put to the test: manufacturers no longer hesitate to put pressure on the main private media; the world powers engage in an information war and use social networks as weapons of propaganda and as sounding boards for disinformation; the airtime devoted to journalistic information work is declining in favor of the development of talk shows with low production costs; the territorial divide is getting worse. It is in these moments of doubt, when it becomes more and more complex to differentiate the true from the false, that a strong and independent public audiovisual sector is essential. A public service capable of delivering reliable, quality information and offering a free and diverse cultural offer in all territories.
This is not what the Senate recommends and the parliamentary report resulting from the fact-finding mission on the future of public broadcasting, presented on June 7 by the deputies Jean-Jacques Gaultier (Les Républicains, Vosges) and Quentin Battalion (Renaissance, Loire). The report proposes to perpetuate the financing of the audiovisual sector by VAT and to set up a holding company bringing together the public media. In the same logic, a bill aimed at setting up this holding company was voted by the Senate on 12 June. Under the guise of defending the audiovisual public service, these recommendations encourage the race for pooling, budgetary savings and endangering the independence of public broadcasting. We, deputies of the Nupes, committed to the freedom of the press, are opposed to it.
This report was awaited by the actors of the public audiovisual sector, immersed in the still persistent doubt of the future of the financing of the public media since the abolition of the contribution to the public audiovisual sector. This original fault, the first act of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term, compromises the possibility for the public audiovisual sector to project itself financially into the future and, above all, exposes its budget to the vagaries of discussion and the mood swings of parliamentarians. A decision all the more irresponsible on the part of the government as it is taken at a time when the far right is claiming its pure and simple disappearance. It is factual, however, that the existence of well-developed and well-funded public service media is synonymous with reliable information, a better level of press freedom, higher voter turnout and of a less present extreme right.
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