06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 12 Nov 2015 n° 93/2015 France
Programme Cancellation and Dismissal Threats Within the French Channel Canal+
On 23 September 2015, the collective "Informing is not a crime,"Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM), Association of Albert Londres Prize, “editorial watchdogs” from 13 media companies, the National Union of Journalists (SNJ ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published an open letter for the Superior Council of the French Audiovisual (CSA) on the eve of the hearing of Vincent Bolloré, Chairman of the Vivendi Supervisory Board. Vincent Bolloré is a majority shareholder of the Vivendi Group and owner of the Canal+ television group. The signatories of the open letter believe that the "principle of the media editorial independence was trampled on many occasions by the main shareholder of Canal+ Group, Vincent Bolloré." Two documentaries of Canal+, one devoted to Crédit Mutuel and the other to Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, have been cancelled for no apparent reason. A report on the Olympic of Marseille for the show "Enquêtes de foot" has been removed from the website. A documentary on BNP Paribas, validated by the Investigative Committee of Canal+, seems to be currently frozen. After expressing concerns about the editorial independence of the channel, two members of the Editorial Board (Deputy Editor of the magazine “Special Investigations”, Jean-Baptiste Rivoire, and Director of “Zapping”, Patrick Menais) were called to "a preliminary interview of a possible dismissal". This procedure was suspended at the last moment.
06 Dec 2018: In May 2017, the dismissal of Patrick Menais, former director of "Zapping" on Canal +, was nullified by the Minister of Labour. In April 2018, Vincent Bolloré left his position as chairman of the supervisory board of Canal Plus. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
10 May 2017
On 10 May 2017, the 2016 dismissal for "gross misconduct" of Patrick Menais, former director of "Zapping" on Canal +, was nullified by the Minister of Labour.
- Canal+ channel's agreement with the High Audiovisual Council
- Law n° 2016-1524 on the strengthening of media freedom, independence and pluralism,14 November 2016
- Statement by Reporters Without Borders: "Bolloré devant le CSA: Les questions qui dérangent"
- Statement by Index: "France: Vincent Bolloré’s takeover of Canal Plus sparks concern for press freedom"
- Article by Nouvel Observateur: "Zapping, Guignols... : Bolloré et les limites de la logique de "recryptage" de Canal Plus"
- Article by Figaro: "Vincent Bolloré «piétine l'indépendance» de Canal+, les journalistes interpellent le CSA"
- Article by Libération: "En tuant l’esprit Canal, Bolloré met la chaîne en danger"
- Article by Point: "Canal+ : encore un coup de balai de Vincent Bolloré?"
- Article by Monde: "Vincent Bolloré, un magnat des médias qui assume avoir « le final cut »"
09 Feb 2018
Reply of the French authorities
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
28 Jun 2018
Factsheet on Freedom of Expression and the Broadcasting Media