Coverage of "yellow vests" by news channels questioned by the CSA -

During the demonstration of "yellow vests", in Bordeaux, on January 5th.
During the demonstration of "yellow vests", in Bordeaux, on January 5th. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

From BFM-TV, a repeated target of critics of "yellow vests", to RT France, become their darling, through Franceinfo, CNews or LCI, everyone responded to the call of the Higher Council of Audiovisual (CSA ) Thursday, January 10th. For the first time since the beginning of this unprecedented mobilization, during which journalists covering the demonstrations have been assaulted several times, the news channels met at the Regulator's headquarters in Paris for a meeting dedicated to the cover of the protest movement.

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For two hours their representatives had "A free exchange in the form of debates"said Lorenzo Ricci, press and communication manager of RT France, interviewed on the set of the Russian public channel in French. "It was a working meeting, a rather constructive moment"said one participant. Another mentioned a dialogue "Respectful and fairly toned, but not in the search for guilt". In a short communique, the CSA evoked, as for him, a discussion "Concrete and constructive", who "Focused on all the issues raised by the on-air processing of the" yellow vests "movement: time spent, choice of images, selection of speakers, balance of views, effects on opinion and role of social networks ».

In preamble, the president of the CSA, Olivier Schrameck, whose mandate ends on January 23, "Expressed its solidarity with the reporting teams facing violence that jeopardizes their security and therefore the freedom of information". He also reminded the chains of their responsibilities. "Mr. Schrameck wished hollow (...) that the chains possibly calm a little the game »said Ricci. Already, on December 7, 2018, on the eve of a new day of events, the CSA had issued a press release to highlight "The heavy and complex responsibility of the audiovisual media", warning them "Against any complacent, unbalanced or insufficiently verified diffusion of images and comments that would fuel antagonisms and oppositions".

"Neither exaggerate nor minimize"

In this regard, members of the government have implicated RT France for its coverage of the movement. In an interview with PointOn 6 January, Marlène Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, reported preparing a report to the CSA concerning a video broadcast on the channel where a protester violently attacked Brigitte Macron. "Did you hear people get indignant when you hear:" Brigitte, do you have to fuck her naked on a pallet "? No, no opposition politician has defended it. It revels me », did she say.

At the meeting on Thursday, the director of RT France defended herself to be a "Hate platform of the institutions of France and Mr. Macron", an expression used by one of the CSA's college members, explained Ricci. "From the beginning, we gave a free platform to the" yellow vests "to express themselves without sticking them with labels or far right or extreme left"he added, stressing that his channel, broadcast on the Internet and the Freebox, did not want "Neither exaggerate nor minimize".

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In this context, the presentation to the press a few hours ago of the "barometer of diversity", carried out by the CSA each year since 2009 to measure the representation of French society in television, has not failed to be caught by the news of "yellow vests". The image that television gives to French society is far from the reality, according to the results of this study: the most privileged categories, the famous CSP + are overrepresented (74%) whereas they make up only 27% of the population. People living in large suburban ensembles are hardly visible.

Memona Hintermann-Afféjee, the CSA adviser in charge of this file, hopes that the movement of "yellow vests", which also reveals the "Search for a more respectful representation" citizens that the media describe as downgraded, will help make things happen. The former journalist of France 3 is " awareness " in the discussions she may have had with the channel managers. "Audience is the keystone, she said, because the danger for them is the day when whole groups will say: "You do not represent us anymore, you insult us, we do not look at you anymore ..." »

François Bougon

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