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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Media Minister Nyssen to Eurofora: Towards defining Journalism by Deontology, Not Fiscal data

French Media Minister Nyssen to Eurofora: Towards defining Journalism by Deontology, Not Fiscal data

Written by ACM
Friday, 18 May 2018
french_media__culture_minister_thyssen_in_arte_debate_about_fake_news_cultural_pass_eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/ARTE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Responding to a Press Invitation for a Debate with New French Minister for Medias and Culture, Francoise Nyssen, on the "Hot" Topical Issue of "Fake News", organised this Afternoon at the prestigious European Radio-TV "ARTE"'s Headquarters, Facing EU Parliament's Building in Strasbourg, "Eurofora" was Positively Surprized by the Competent Minister's Brief, but Clearly Affirmative Reply to our Question about whether it may be More Helpfull for the Quality of information to Adopt a Definition of Journalism which would be Based preferably on Press Deontology Principles, Instead of some mainly "Fiscal" elements, (as some still persist to demand, Contrary to Recent European and International Developments : See Infra).


This interesting Exchange, Topically took place Shortly Before a brand-New Law on "Fake News" is due to be Soon Voted by the French National Assembly, (See Infra), Drafted by MP Bruno Studer, (who was also Present in that Event, and Spoke, Afterwards, to "Eurofora" : See Infra).


Meanwhile, "ARTE"'s Officials had already shown some Well-Crafted Videos of special TV-Programs for Children which made an artful, but adequately Simplified Introduction to some Press Deontology's Basic Principles, (including, f.ex., to Cross-Check alleged "Facts" for Verification, etc).

 

french_media_minister_nyssen_at_arte_press_area_eurofora_400


But, even if that Special Meeting had been Explicitly Prepared for such "Fake News" - related Debates, Nevertheless, curiously, Most of the Participants to this "ARTE" Debate, had prefered to Focus, instead, on anOther, Different Topical Issue : that of a ... "Culture-Pass" Card for Free Access to Culture by Young Students, which had been Launched by Thyssen earlier this Morning and appeared quite Popular, (See Infra)...


Therefore, "Eurofora" had, practically, to Wait up to the special Moment Fixed by the Ministry's Press Service, for a Specific "Press-Point" with the Accredited Journalists, in order to have a Chance to Explore the Competent French Minister's Views on the above-mentioned Issue :
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 - "Eurofora", Noting the Fact that, recently, there are Several moves about "Fake News" also at European level, (f.ex. in EU Parliament, CoE, etc), as well as various Proposals made by Independent, Experienced Press Experts (See Infra),


Asked the French Minister for Medias, if she Agreed that, at least one among the Ways to Protect the Quality of Information, should be to Find Ways to Make the Definition of Journalism (including Legal), Closer to Values and Principles of Press Deontology, instead of restricting it to some Controversial, rather "Fiscal" purposes-Serving elements, (which put, f.ex., France at a Distance from Germany, from ECHR's Case-Law, even from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights', etc. : See Infra).

 

french_minister_of_culure__medias_fr._nyssen_400 


- The Reply, given to that "Eurofora"s Question, by the French Minister of Medias and Culture, Francoise Nyssen, was Suprisingly Positive :


 - "We (France), ... are Already Advancing Towards that Direction !", she immediately Stressed, from the outset.


- "In fact, it's (almost) Already there !", Nyssen spontaneously Added, (may be too Optimistically, but, at any case, significantly)


+ And, as a Concrete Example, the Competent Minister pointed, at least, at a particular "Law", which had been Adopted by the French National Assembly "a Few Time Ago", i.e. since 2016, (See more Details Infra).


--------------------------------


    Both some Old and Recent French Legal/Political Texts (already from 1979, 1881, as well as after 2010, etc) make certain Interesting References to various Definitions or, at least, Descriptions of Journalism, which seem very Close to that officially and clearly Adopted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights already as early as since 1985, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/iachrcoebookandefjsgonjournalismdefinition.html, etc), before being also, mutatis-mutandis, endorsed by CoE's Committee of Ministers since 2000, and more Recently and clearly reiterated, in substance, by a relevant Reply of the European Federation of Journalists' Secretary General Gutierrez to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question during a 2-Days long International Conference on Press Freedom issues, as well as by the Explicit Definition subsequently adopted by a Team of CoE's Experts who Drafted the Latest, 2016 Book of the PanEuropean, 47 Member Countries-strong Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, about Press Freedom, Journalists and the Internet, back on 2016-2017, consistent with ECHR's case-law on Article 10, (which is the Only one to Protect Journalists) :


- I.e, mainly, that Journalism is the Activity of Persons Committed to Regularly Search, Analyse, Write and Publish Original News on Issues which Affect People's Lives and/or Society at large, (Comp., inter alia, also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coecommissionerandjournalistsafety.html , etc).


However, at least Some among those French Texts (Contrary to the situation existing in Other Countries, both in Europe and elsewhere in the World) use to Add also an irrelevant element, which has Nothing to do with pluralistic Democracy, Neither with Human Rights, but it apparently Serves only some Fiscal purposes, (concerning, f.ex. those who Pay a certain Percentage of Money Revenues to the Journalist, etc).


+ That's one among the Reasons for which, (according to an Earlier Suggestion made by "Eurofora" on the occasion of a Journalists' Gathering at the CoE in Strasbourg, when we also Discussed the matter together: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/digitalpress.html +
+ http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/webmedia.html), the World-Famous Press Expert, former Long-Time Secretary General of the European and International Federation of Journalists, and currently Director of the "Ethical Journalism Network", Aidan White, has Urged, (mainly in a Long Article at a Book Published by the CoE on 2015 : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/iachrcoebookandefjsgonjournalismdefinition.html), in substance, to Focus, on the Definition of Journalism and Assimilated activities, more on the observance of certain Basic Principles of Press Deontology.


-------------------------------


+ Moreover, Nyssen did Not immediately Deny when "Eurofora" added that "this should concern also the Traditional Medias, since, f.ex., in the USA, even "CNN" has been recently Accused to air "Fake News", as well as some Other Mainstream Medias, (particularly by People related to New US President Don Trump).


- But, at least as far as it concerns the current Draft Law on Fake News, its main Author, French MP Bruno Studer, speaking afterwards to "Eurofora", had a quite Different stance :


- "We don't focus on the Content, but, mainly on the Way in which it is Transmitted", Studer sharply told "Eurofora" in Reply to a Similar Observation as that which we had just made in fine during Media/Culture Minister Thyssen's Press-point, (Comp. Supra).


At this Stage, it remains, however, to take due Care for that Draft Not to risk to be Criticized for any eventual Discrimination against On-Line Medias, compared to Traditional Medias, which would, obviously, be Both irrational, not legitimate, and almost certainly illegal. It all depends, naturally, on How exactly will be Crafted the Precise Wording of the Final Text.


- As MP Studer confirmed to "Eurofora", it's expected to be Voted by the French Parliamentary Assembly at the Beginning of June 2018, and, afterwards, it will follow the usual Procedure of Debate and Vote also by the Senate, according to the results of which, it will be brought to President Macron for official Promulgation, so that it might, probably, enter into force, around the Beginning of 2018's Autumn.


---------------------------------------

 
french_minister_for_media_fr._nyssen_euroforaa_400_01 


- However, when Minister Thyssen gave the above-mentioned Reply to "Eurofora"s main Question about a Definition of Journalism closer to Press Deontology, instead of mere Fiscal aspects, (Comp. Supra), she chose to cite as an Example supposed to Advance in this Direction, a 2016 Law, which had been Drafted by the former President of French Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Cultural/Media Affairs, Patrick Bloche :

 - F.ex., already, "we had the Bloche Law on (Press) Deontology, which was adopted a few time ago", she simply pointed out, in this regard.

Indeed, that Law speaks about Press Deontology, and apparentlly seeks to Protect Journalists against some eventual Pressure to go against it.


But it does so mainly in the case of eventual Differences between a Subordinate Paid Worker and his Boss, inside a Collective Business outlet, etc.


Therefore, it does Not contain any kind of innovative Definition of Journalism "erga omnes" at all.


In Addition, that quite Controversial Law had been Attacked by MPs and Senators before the Constitutional Court in France, which declared at least 1 of its main Articles as UnConstitutional.


Moreover, several Medias, even Traditional Mainstream Newspapers (as f.ex. "Liberation" : Center Left, etc) have, meanwhile, Published some very Critical Articles, which Denounced, in particular, that some Ambiguities in that 2016 Law, might, in Fact, instead of Protecting Journalists, (as its Initial and Official Aim was), it might, on the Contrary, provoke even certain Dangers against Press Freedom, in certain cases...


=> Therefore, it's obvious that the Need to susbtantiate further, with concrete examples Medias Minister Thyssen's overall Positive appraisal, in her Reply to "Eurofora"'s above-mentioned Question, (Comp. Supra), stil remains.


Hopefully, some interesting relevant elements of Fact might, eventually, Start to Arrive, in one way or another, at the Horizon of a foreseeable Future, asap....



------------------------------------------
+ "Culture-Pass"
-----------------------------------------------


+ For the Rest, Earlier Today, Francoise Nyssen, as Minister of Culture, had notoriously Launched, elsewhere, the experimental stage of a Popular New Measure due to Help Young Students' Access to Culture, nick-named "Pass-Culture", in Agreement with the University of Strasbourg :


- Those sympahetic events took place at the National Theater of Strasbourg (TNS), after a Meeting with a Team of Young People at the adjacent Museum of Famous Cartoonist "Tomy Ungerer", (by a Coincidence, located side by side with CoE Secretary General's Home !).


But, even if we had been Accredited also for that Event, unfortunately, this happened almost at the Same Hour, during which, "Eurofora" and several Other Journalists, had to made a Press Coverage of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's official visit at the ENA School for Senior Officials of Public Admiistrations, at the Other Side of Strasbourg... (See our NewsReport, with Statements made by PM. Philippe, and other relevant News, from the spot at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchprilmeministeronenaschoolasitalydecides.html).

--------------

tns__3_young_students_on_culturepass__agg_eurofora_400


Nevertheless, "Eurofora" had the opportunity to Meet, just a few Minutes after Nyssen's departure from the TNS, a group of 3 Young Students who had personally Participated to those events on that "Culture-Pass" Card :


- By speaking briefly with them on the spot, it became Clear that they appeared very Glad for that Move, (at least at this Stage), made according to New French President Emmanuel Macron's Electoral Promises of 2017, as they Reminded themselves, which is due to Give them a kind of Credit up to 500 € per Year in order to Pay for Access to various Cultural Events, that they are, in principle, "Free" to choose, where, when and as they Like, (f.ex. on many, or few, even one event, etc).


Last, but not least, by a Coincidence, Both 3 of them, told "Eurofora" that they were Originated from "Selestat" Village, Near Strasbourg, i.e. the precise Strategic Local Crossroads from which we had taken a Train recently in our way Back from President Macron's recent Trip up to the Nearby Vosges' Mountains, where he Launched the 1st "EU Citizens' Public Consultation" on Europe's Future (at Epinal City), before Visiting also various Other landmark, Rural but Historic Areas, (such as, f.ex. Saint-Dié city, etc. : See Macron's Reply to "Eurofora"s Question there at: ....)
 

 

(../..)



-----------------------

 

 

***

 

(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap)

 

***

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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