Paris (AFP)

Journalists denounced in a text made public on Saturday the desire of the police and other institutions to arrogate to themselves a "right of censorship" on their reports and documentaries, in defiance of the freedom to inform, through conventions of turning more and more restrictive.

"Attempts to control our filming by the public authorities (police, justice, prison administration, gendarmerie in particular) have never been so urgent", affirm these audiovisual journalists, documentary filmmakers, editors, directors news and news magazine producers.

"An example illustrates this drift. Before authorizing the filming of police officers in the exercise of their functions, the communication service of the national police force now requires a right of validation of the report before broadcasting", they add.

This service requires "the signature of an agreement stipulating: + that it will view the program in its final version, before the first broadcast, within a period allowing a possible modification; will be the only one to validate the content produced on the plans legal, ethical and deontological (...); the recordings must not undermine the brand image of the national police or include scenes that could be considered shocking; no extract may be broadcast without the express consent of the representative of the national police + ", they detail.

"The filming conventions originally established to protect the security of persons or institutions in very specific cases are thus insidiously diverted from their original spirit. New paragraphs are flourishing in various forms which become a clear obstacle to our prerogatives. editorial and the public's right to information ", add the signatories, who ask the public authorities" to renounce these conventions which infringe the rights of the press ".

"It is unthinkable that the overall coherence of a report on the legal, ethical and deontological plan is supervised by ministries. These requests for conventions also come in a context where article 24 of the law on global security worries about very many editors and press agencies ", continues the text.

"By demanding validation of our reports and documentaries, the public authorities want to grant themselves an unacceptable right to censorship", and "no journalist whose vocation is to freely inform the public can accept it", he denounces. he, and "no more than we, the public can understand the persistence of this obstruction of the freedom to inform".

The full text and the full list of signatories are available at

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