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Journalists express concern about Canal+ as Bolloré meets CSA

Vincent Bolloré

Vincent Bolloré

A group of French journalists and the Reporters sans Frontières group have signed an open letter calling for media regulator the CSA to put measures in place to protect the editorial independence of pay TV outfit Canal+.

The group called for a charter guaranteeing the editorial independence of channels affiliated to the group.

Among issues that have raised concern are the closing down of an investigation by Canal+ journalists into Crédit Mutuel, a partern bank of Vivendi, following which Bolloré allegedly intervened to prevent its airing.

In the letter, published in Le Monde, the journalists said that the actions of Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré threatened the principle of the independence of the media.

In addition to the Crédit Mutuel case, the journalists raise the issue of why a documentary on François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy was cancelled and replaced in the schedule with a movie that had already been aired on the service, why a documentary on BNP Paribas was allegedly frozen on the instructions of Canal+ management and why a report on football team Olympique de Marseille that had been aired on Canal+ was withdrawn from the operator’s website.

Bolloré will today explain his strategy for Canal+ to the CSA. The meeting was arranged by agreement between the two parties and is designed to enable the CSA to better understand Bolloré’s intentions.

Bolloré is also set to explain his intentions to Catherine Morin-Desailly, president of the French senate’s commission for culture, education and communication.

Separately, Canal+ has named Marie-Annick Darmaillac as director with responsibility for the promotion and development of talent within the group.

Darmaillac was previously deputy secretary-general at Bolloré Group with responsibility for management, ethics and sustainable development.