Fragile independence



Algeria, Russia, Pakistan, India… The list is long of countries that make the news and where the independent media can no longer carry out their mission without fearing for the freedom, or even the life, of their collaborators. By contrast, the freedom of opinion and information that characterizes Western democracies appears all the more precious… and fragile. Hence the legitimate concerns about the media concentration movement, revived by the takeover bid launched yesterday by Vivendi on the publishing and media group Lagardère (Hachette Livre, Europe 1, The JDD, Paris Match…) or by the announcement, also yesterday, of the commissioning of Donald Trump’s social network – which should be “fully operational” by the end of March, at least in the United States.

Wanted by the former US president, Truth Social is designed as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, from which it was banned after the Capitol storming. But Trump’s particular rapport with the truth on social media during his tenure may raise fears about his editorial options. In France, players who invest in the media willingly justify their strategy by saying they are looking for a size effect to deal with the rise of the digital giants. But this risks being to the detriment of media pluralism and editorial independence, as the temptation can be great for shareholders to seek to intervene in editorial content. The recommendations of the Senate commission of inquiry into media concentration, which is completing its hearings this week, will therefore not only be of interest to the profession, but also to all those who are attached to journalistic independence in the treatment of information. .

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