French TV channel abandons investigative journalism
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores French TV channel Canal+’s decision to drop its “Spécial Investigation” programme after the summer break.
The channel’s only remaining slot for investigative reporting, it had clearly been in billionaire owner Vincent Bolloré’s sights ever since a report on French bank Crédit Mutuel was censored in September 2015.
The decision follows months of wrangling between the Canal+ management and the progamme’s journalists, who have finally been silenced.
The programme’s deputy editor in chief, Jean-Baptiste Rivoire, had joined the SNJ-CGT union in a bid to fend off dismissal. At the same time, the management had been requesting changes to many reports that could have been embarrassing for one or other of the components of Bolloré’s business empire.
Noting that Canal+ has also dropped daily news programmes and an irreverent highlights progamme called “Le Zapping,” RSF regrets that its management has chosen to sacrifice independent and quality journalism in order not to upset Bolloré’s potential business partners.
France is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.