Jean Daniel, founder of the Nouvel Observateur who became Obs and a great figure of the left and of journalism, died at the age of 99. Tributes have multiplied, including from some who did not share all his ideas.
"He died Wednesday night at the age of 99 after a long life of passion, commitment and creation," said L'Obs.
A great leftist, Jean Daniel had founded in 1964 with Claude Perdriel Le Nouvel Observateur, of which he was the director of the publication until 2008.
"The most prestigious French journalist has died. He was at the same time a witness, an actor and a conscience of this world," writes the weekly.
Many figures in French journalism have praised his memory on Twitter.
"Upset: generations owe him everything, he inspired us: an example and the honor of demanding journalism", reacted Jean-Pierre Elkabbach.
"By his pen, his culture, his constancy in his commitments, his physical and moral courage, he was a conscience and a model for my generation," said Anne Sinclair.
The weekly Le Point hailed a "big name in the French press".
"We sometimes laughed, me first, but still, what a biography!", Also greeted Daniel Schneiderman.
For Robert Ménard, mayor of Béziers and former secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) until 2008, "we can not share our ideas but recognize our talent. It has marked the history of our profession".
- Support for feminists -
Born July 21, 1920 in Blida, Algeria, Jean Daniel, born Bensaïd, fought in the ranks of the Leclerc division. After the war, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and then entered the cabinet of Félix Gouin, president of the Provisional Government, in 1946. Already in the current of the non-communist left, he founded, in 1947, Caliban, a cultural review.
In the mid-1950s, Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber hired him for L'Express where he covered the Algerian war. He stayed there for eight years, becoming its editor. Threatened with death, charged with endangering state security, he defended Algerian independence.
In 1961, a special envoy to Tunisia, he was seriously injured in Bizerte by French army fire.
Two years later, it was in Cuba, in the midst of an interview with Fidel Castro, that he learned of the death of John F. Kennedy, with whom he had just had an interview.
He was the friend of Albert Camus, Pierre Mendès-France, Michel Foucault or François Mitterrand.
After a brief stint in the World, he resumed in 1964 with the industrialist Claude Perdriel "France Observateur" which became "Le Nouvel Observateur". Participating in all the great debates of the time, the magazine defends anti-colonialism, publishes in one the manifesto of "343 sluts" for abortion, supports Mendès-France, Rocard then Mitterrand, controversy with the Communist Party.
Alice Coffin, of the feminist activist group La Barbe, praised the memory of Jean Daniel by posting this memory on Twitter: "We did several La Barbe actions against 100% male events organized by the Obs. At the end of the "One of them, where some editorial staff had given us fairly violent comments, I ran into Jean Daniel. He said," You are completely right. I have no memories of dozens of actions. another boss of the company that we were targeting by our action who said that also spontaneously after the action. "
© 2020 AFP