Journalists declared persona non grata, all-out complaints and a “media bashing” (spreading of the media) that is spreading: a report released Thursday deplores a proliferation of incidents between the political class and the press since the last presidential election
Journalists declared persona non grata, all-out complaints and a “media bashing” (spreading media) that is spreading: a report released Thursday deplores a proliferation of incidents between the political class and the press since the last presidential election.
The annual report of the Observatory of the Ethics of Journalism (ODI), presented Thursday at the Assises of Journalism in Tours, notes that this election “was peppered with incidents between politicians and journalists, the former seeking more and more to do without the second to disseminate their formatted messages to their sole convenience, or engaging in a bashing media to release information involving them or not suitable for them, at the risk of weakening the democracy whose freedom to inform and to be informed is one of the pillars “.
The organization that brings together individuals, professionals and the media, evokes in particular the decision of the FN during the campaign to deprive some journalists of access to its events, or to forbid them to interview activists at a meeting.
The ODI, which recalls the numerous attacks of Marine Le Pen against the media, underlines that the “bashing media” was also the fact of other political formations, noting for example that “journalists were booed during meetings of François Fillon: Some were almost molested, others received death threats “, without the LR candidate condemning these facts.
He further notes “the generalization of the provision of customized images by political parties on the occasion of their meetings”.
“The most worrying is undoubtedly that these tendencies have been prolonged once the election fever has subsided,” says ODI, who also returns in his report on the controversies over the presidential communication or the “call” of Ex-Minister of Justice François Bayrou at Radio France to criticize an investigation of the MoDem.
– Deontology –
The Observatory is also examining the phenomenon of the “gag orders”, and notes the many “complaints and threats of complaints (…) filed or announced in an attempt to intimidate journalists deemed too curious”, in particular by companies like the Bolloré group or the dairy giant Lactalis, but also, made new, from “the government and the Elysee”.
The study does not, however, clear the press, noting overall “a looseness of rigor under the influence of virulent public debates and very polarized” and a frequent confusion between “the facts and opinions”, and between “animator , guest columnist and journalist “, which contributes, ODI notes, to” feed the accusation of systematic bias, lies, manipulation against the media. ”
ODI also defends in its report the idea of establishing an independent body responsible for ensuring respect for journalistic ethics, a proposal that is a sea serpent and is far from unanimous in the profession.
This tripartite body (it would welcome representatives of journalists, media companies and the general public) would have no “sanctioning power” but would help regulate the profession by exercising a “teaching role”.
He would point the drifts and encourage good practices, defends the ODI, which points out that 30 of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe already have such a body, including nearly two thirds of the EU states.