Thibaut Bruttin, new director general of Reporters Without Borders

The announcement of Christophe Deloire’s death on 8 June remains a shock within Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which he had headed since 2012. Not only because of the brutality of his death, but also because many employees were informed of it through the press. This time, for the appointment of the new boss, things were done in an orderly manner. The fifty or so people who make up the team of the NGO fighting for press freedom met on Wednesday 10 July at its Paris headquarters, before any official announcement. And they learned of the appointment of the new director general of RSF in the person of their colleague Thibaut Bruttin.

Meeting the previous evening at the end of the day, the members of the board of directors unanimously validated the proposal of the candidate who had until then been the number two of the NGO, deputy to the general director, and had been managing the interim since April with the administrative director, Elodie Truchon. “Thibaut fits the profile we were looking for, because he participated in defining the strategic project and knows our operations by heart, having held several positions.”explains the president of the association, Pierre Haski.

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The 37-year-old, a graduate of Sciences Po Paris, was for a long time the “flying goalie” of RSF. After four years at the Louvre Museum, which he left disappointed by the way the public institution seemed to him “stuck in bureaucracy”he joined the NGO in 2014 as head of sponsorship development. He was successively in charge of the international correspondent network and the structuring of annual strategic plans. He regularly contributed to writing Christophe Deloire’s speeches. In 2018, he left the NGO exhausted, but returned a year later.

“Need to transgress”

Preferring to avoid any risk-taking, the board of directors favored the internal candidacy of Thibaut Bruttin, “in a period where RSF is at the crossroads of several hypersensitive issues”argues Pierre Haski. Mr. Bruttin will thus continue to defend “free, pluralistic and independent journalism”as worn by his predecessor.

“There are many countries where journalists are dying, but there are also many where journalism is dying. Freedom of the press is also the sovereignty of the media in technological terms and its economic sustainability.”insists this cinema enthusiast, author of several works on French actors and directors − Louis de Funès, to madness (2020, La Martinière) and Michel Audiard director (2022, Actes Sud and Institut Lumière).

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