The CSA takes care of the grain and raises the tone.
The audiovisual gendarme put CNews on notice to respect its obligations in terms of pluralism, accusing the Canal + group's news channel of having given too much voice to Jordan Bardella, candidate of the National Rally for the regional elections in Ile-de-France, compared to other lists.
In a decision published Saturday in the Official Journal, the CSA noted that CNews had invited "nine times" from May 10 to 28 the head of the RN list in Paris for the regional.
The channel said it had given the candidate only 7 minutes of speaking time, while he spoke for an hour in total.
"Contrary to what the chain maintains", the CSA believes that the candidate RN has expressed himself "on major themes of the electoral campaign for the upcoming election in the Île-de-France region, such as security public ”, including during sequences not counted by CNews.
A risk of increasing "imbalances"
Consequently the actual speaking time of the candidate shows "imbalances with regard to the presentation and access to the air of the lists in the running (…) for the benefit of that supported by the National Gathering".
In addition, CNews told the CSA in early June of its intention "to make up time for [this] list", adds the regulator, which concludes that this can only increase "the imbalances" to the detriment of other lists.
This is why the Superior council of audio-visual decided to put in residence the chain "to conform, in the future, to the provisions" as regards political pluralism, and in particular those applicable for the regional elections, which provide for a "Equitable access of the lists present"
Asked by AFP, CNews declined to comment.
A fine last March
A formal notice constitutes a sort of warning and exposes CNews, in the event of a repeat offense, to a sanction which can range from a fine to a suspension of the broadcasting of a program, including a temporary deprivation of advertising.
This is not the first time that the audiovisual regulator has pinned the news channel of the Canal + group, a subsidiary of the Vivendi group controlled by businessman Vincent Bolloré.
In March, the CSA had fined CNews 200,000 euros for "incitement to hatred" and "violence" after comments by its star polemicist Eric Zemmour, on unaccompanied minor migrants.
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