The European Media Freedom Act, currently under discussion in Brussels, aims to respond to interference by States and private shareholders in the production of information.
The text was presented by Brussels last September, it is currently under discussion, but we can see how valuable it would prove to be in combating the evils that weigh on information, and thus strengthen the confidence that European citizens can have in their media. First, it aims to combat, or at least limit, government interference in European public media. “ No public media should become a propaganda organ said Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova in mid-September.
So Brussels was mainly targeting countries like Hungary or Poland where the public broadcaster has been purged of its most critical journalists. But it is now Italy that is affected by this regulation since the head of its government, Giorgia Meloni, exerted such pressure on the editorial line of Rai that its boss Carlo Fuortes was forced to resign. The President of the Council, who came from the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, had notably seized the Italian regulator after the presence on the Rai antennas of Bernard-Henri Lévy castigating the right without sufficient contradiction in his eyes.
Guarantee the independence of editors in relation to a private shareholder
In the programming, in the editorial line, she instructed one of her relatives, Giampaolo Rossi, to take over Rai. And even if Italian public radio has always been the scene of power games, a real cultural battle has begun and two star presenters have already left. The regulation on freedom of the media also proposes to guarantee the independence of editors in relation to a private shareholder, which contravenes the French vision according to which only the director of publication, legally responsible, has the real direction. editorial. We know that Pierre Louette, the boss of the group Les Echos-Le Parisien, owned by LVMH, was opposed to this measure, which an amendment also wants to modify. But it would nevertheless be of a nature to protect an editorial staff from any interference from the shareholder.
It is moreover to defend the possibility of validating the choice of their editorial director, after the eviction of Nicolas Barré, that the journalists of the Echoes went on strike on Friday. The management wishes to widen the number of voters on this validation process, which according to the editorial staff would amount to emptying it of its substance. Fighting against the stranglehold of States and private shareholders, in an area of high concentration and political change, these are two key issues of this regulation.