Edouard Philippe received Wednesday associations and representatives of journalists to discuss "the issues for the sector" but also to ensure that the executive would not affect the 1881 law and would not establish a Council of the Order said Matignon and one of the participants.
By inviting representatives of all the actors in the profession, journalists and editors, the Prime Minister wished to "recall the government's commitment to defend the freedom of the press and the essential role played by the press and the media in democracy, "said Matignon.
Prime Minister said on Wednesday that there was "no question of amending the law of 1881", or "create a Council of the Order of Journalists", at this meeting in which participated the LDS of AFP , the SNJ syndicate or Reporters Without Borders.
With his side the Minister of Culture Franck Riester, Edouard Philippe insisted that the government would not interfere in the creation of a council of ethics, in development, and on which the profession remains divided.
On police violence against journalists, Edouard Philippe stressed that there were no "instructions" to "prevent (journalists) to work". Referring to a "very tense" situation on the ground, the Prime Minister said that there had been "sanctions against people who had exceeded the limits", without specifying which ones.
This meeting was part of a context of uncertainty and tension between the profession and the executive, after recent government statements.
In June, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said she wanted to take the racial insult out of the 1881 Freedom of the Press Act, raising warnings from several press lawyers. Fundamental to journalists, the law of July 29, 1881 establishes a derogatory regime allowing them to protect their sources and deliver information of general interest by taking the risk sometimes of public defamation.
This law was notably invoked by the journalist of Monde Ariane Chemin, convened in May by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) in the context of an investigation for "revelation of the identity of a member of the special forces" . The hearing, along with that of seven other journalists for work on the use of French weapons in Yemen, had raised a wave of protests from the profession.
In June, Secretary of State for Digital Cédric O sparked an outcry by speaking out for a "council of the order" of journalists to fight against false news and disinformation in their ranks, while warning failing that, it would be up to the State itself to intervene. Mr. O then invoked "unfortunate words".
© 2019 AFP