France: paper protests against far-right chief editor

The staff of the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) are on strike to protest the appointment of editor-in-chief Geoffroy Lejeune, the former head of the far-right magazine Valeurs actuelles. His appointment comes as the multimedia group Vivendi - whose boss Vincent Bolloré is known for turning media into mouthpieces for right-wing polemics - is finalising its takeover of the JDD's publisher Lagardère.

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Libération (FR) /

A danger to journalism and democracy

The ultra-conservative media mogul Vincent Bolloré is ruining more than just the papers, TV and radio stations he has acquired, Libération warns:

“The ratings of CNews and C8 are anything but stellar, those of Europe 1 are downright disastrous. Paris Match isn't doing well either, and Le Journal du Dimanche will lose many readers. What does it matter? All of this is not expensive to produce, creates a lot of buzz and, through volume and garish colours, helps to spread the general idea that people can't trust each other, that society is fragmented, on edge, vulnerable to 'invasion' and 'savagery'. ... So the view is propagated that we need good authoritarian government. ... Polarisation instead of information, in other words the death of journalism.”

Le Temps (CH) /

Now all will see what is going on

The transformation of the media in the manner of the Bolloré group surpasses even US media monstrosities, Le Temps criticises:

“The agenda has been clear for a long time, particularly in view of the development of I-Télé, the respected 24-hour news channel of Canal+, which within a few years became the ultra-conservative and provocative CNews, almost making Fox News look like a moderate TV channel. ... But to let Le Journal du Dimanche, the nearly 80-year-old Sunday newspaper on French political events, suffer the same fate could very well be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The gesture that transforms a gradual awareness into a collective one. The act that transforms a conviction into the certainty that we are witnessing an intolerable manipulation is taking place.”

Mediapart (FR) /

Don't leave the media to the market

The government in Paris has not even reacted to the recommendations of EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton to protect press freedom, Mediapart fumes:

“In his draft Media Freedom Act of 2022, Breton confirms that the media is not a market like other markets, and that competition alone cannot guarantee media diversity. ... Therefore, for all mergers, he proposes that other bodies made up of journalists and experts be used to ensure the independence of newsrooms, especially vis-à-vis their shareholders and owners. Although otherwise the government is quick to invoke the EU, this time it seems to be in no hurry to take its cue from Brussels.”