the media mobilize in opposition to the merger mission and launch a strike | EUROtoday

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The employees of Radio France and France Télévisions, these of France Médias Monde (RFI, France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya) and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) are known as to strike, Thursday and Friday, in opposition to the proposed merger of public broadcasting in 2026, defended by the Minister of Culture Rachida Dati. Some 16,000 workers are affected by this reform.

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From France Télévisions to Radio France, all the public audiovisual sector is named to strike, Thursday May 23 and Friday May 24, at a time when the National Assembly should take up the categorical merger mission of the sector defended by Rachida Dati.

To employees, the Minister of Culture launched on Sunday: “I want to guarantee you not only your sustainability but (also) your strength” in a world of “heightened competition”.

Disturbances are to be anticipated on the assorted antennas. The debate Thursday night on France 2 between the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, and the president of the RN, Jordan Bardella, is nonetheless not threatened, the administration of France Télévisions is assured.

Rachida Dati took the difficulty of public broadcasting head on as quickly as she arrived in authorities at first of the 12 months. It offers for a transitional section with a joint holding firm on January 1, 2025, then a merger one 12 months later. Some 16,000 workers are affected.

The France Médias Monde offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.
The France Médias Monde places of work in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. © AFP

“The political moment has come,” considers the minister, after an try at rapprochement by her predecessor Franck Riester stopped by Covid-19. She boasts the assist of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, “very attached to public broadcasting”.

To speed up, the ex-LR relied on a invoice from Senator Laurent Lafon (Centrist Union) programming a holding firm, already adopted in June 2023 by the higher home.

According to the minister, public broadcasting has “undeniable strengths” however “dispersed”, which exposes it to a “risk of weakening” within the face of worldwide platforms like Netflix and personal channels.

The big firm known as “France Médias” would have a price range of 4 billion euros. And the purpose will not be to economize, we insist to the federal government. On the opposite, the reform would have a price within the first years.

In addition to France Télévisions and Radio France, the audiovisual juggernaut would additionally carry collectively the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) and France Médias Monde (RFI, France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya). The integration of this final group is, nonetheless, debated even within the presidential camp.

A quick-paced reform

The textual content of the regulation is on the menu for deputies on Thursday and Friday for first studying and a solemn vote is scheduled for May 28.

From a parliamentary supply, the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet (Renaissance), considers the examination timetable too tight and would have most popular that the textual content be faraway from the agenda at this stage. A second studying is already registered within the Senate on June 19.

The sector's union organizations haven’t remained idle: strike notices have been filed within the 4 public corporations, the place there are fears for assets and jobs. Rallies are deliberate close to the Assembly and the Ministry of Culture.

Particularly mobilized, the Radio France unions concern that tv will swallow up radio. “This reform calls into question the editorial and budgetary independence of Radio France, guarantor of a real audio strategy – radio and digital – acclaimed by the public,” they argue.

In a column printed Wednesday by the each day Le Monde, greater than 1,100 Radio France workers, together with presenters Léa Salamé, Nicolas Demorand and Nagui, reject this merger mission described as “demagogic, ineffective and dangerous”.

“It is not too late to prevent the forced implementation of a cheap public audiovisual system. Do not break a public service that is working”, plead the signatories of this discussion board, questioning why the federal government is orchestrating “this marriage between radios and televisions at a breakneck pace.”

Environmentalists denounce “the return of the ORTF”

The France Télévisions unions are additionally questioning concerning the goals of this mission. “Why engage (the sector) in a merger which promises to be long, complex, anxiety-provoking for employees, and without any real editorial objective?”, they ask.

The destiny of France Médias Monde doesn’t look like clear-cut. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Séjourné, affirmed that the federal government was in the end in favor of its exclusion from the only firm. But discussions could possibly be tight with the suitable, which is conversely connected to its inclusion.

For its half, the left holding torpedo like fusion. LFI sees on this mission “the culmination of the denigration and weakening” of the general public service operated by Emmanuel Macron. “It is not the return of the ORTF that will allow us to compete with Netflix,” add the environmentalists.

Another delicate side: that of promoting. Rachida Dati voted in committee on the National Assembly to elevate the ceiling on promoting income from public broadcasting however the topic should be reworked, the parliamentarians dedicated.

Private audiovisual gamers are against the elimination of the cap, just like the LR deputies.

One topic appears no less than partly cleared up earlier than the classes on the Palais Bourbon: Quentin Bataillon (Renaissance) and Jean-Jacques Gaultier (LR) have ready a textual content of regulation to make sure long-term financing of public broadcasting, by way of a “levy on income” of the state price range.

Since the abolition of the price in 2022, the sector has been quickly financed by a fraction of VAT.

With AFP