For Universal Periodic Review, France urged to protect press freedom

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) provided recommendations on how a decline in media freedom should be addressed by France, whose record on human rights is the subject of a Universal Period Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today (15 January).

The recommendation that RSF submitted last October concerned the lack of protection for journalists’ sources, the concentration of media ownership, the threats to editorial independence, threats to journalists’ physical safety and abusive judicial proceedings against media personnel.

RSF urges France to implement the recommendations it receives on respect for media freedom, including the recommendations made during its last Universal Periodic Review in 2013, most of which were not applied.

RSF’s recommendations:

  • Respect the role of the media and the work of journalists; combat all verbal attacks and attempts to question legitimate journalism.
  • Maintain the equilibrium of the Law of 1881.
  • Ensure that journalists have unrestricted access to public events and guarantee their safety when they cover them.
  • Provide legislative guarantees for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.
  • Prevent surveillance of journalists in connection with their work.
  • Decriminalize violation of professional confidentiality, violation of the confidentiality of a judicial investigation and invasion of privacy for journalists in connection with their work
  • Establish mechanisms for preventing lawsuits against journalists.
  • Prevent conflicts of interest in the media by reinforcing editorial independence vis-à-vis shareholders, advertisers and all external parties, especially in media outlets whose shareholders largely depend on state contracts.
  • Take measures to combat vertical concentration of ownership in the media and ensure ownership transparency.

To read RSF’s complete submission on freedom of the press and information in France for the Universal Periodic Review’s 29th session, click here.

To learn more about the Universal Periodic Review and NGO contributions to the process, click here.

France is ranked 39th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Published on
Updated on 16.01.2018