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IFJ condemns appointment process of France Télévisions head

(IFJ/IFEX) - 6 July 2010 - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists, has deplored the manner of appointing the President of the French public broadcaster.

Yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced his nomination for the new president of France Télévisions, Remy Pflimlin. The EFJ deplores the implementation of the new broadcasting law passed in March 2009 that allows the political executive to appoint the chairmen of public broadcasters.

Even if the appointment must be confirmed by the High Audiovisual Council (CSA) and the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Assembly, the process "sends the wrong signal and marks a step backwards for the independence of media," says the EFJ.

The EFJ criticises governments that put pressure on the media, especially public broadcasters as has been the case recently in Hungary, Romania and repeatedly in Italy. The EFJ further regrets the disregard for the independence of public service broadcasting held by the French President.

The right to information on TV channels in France now risks increased political interference, seriously compromising the role of journalists.

The EFJ will monitor any interference with the public service mission of France Télévisions. It called on the unions of France Télévision to continue to protect the working conditions of journalists and for a strong, diversified information to citizens.

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