Journalist strike: anger to be heard

Journalist strike: anger to be heard Cybersecurity

The BFM TV channel is undergoing a curious paradox: it is the first in terms of audience and yet, to read the comments on social networks, it would above all be the most hated channel in France. His journalists are only sold to power or to protesters of all kinds according to the authors, they would only make mediocre broadcasts and their guests would be stupid. Once we have passed these few pleasantries, let’s get to the heart of the matter, namely the strike, but above all the operation of a continuous news channel.

An unfair plan

Let the reader not get me wrong. As part of Arcadia, I have often had the opportunity to appear on BFM TV and I would even go so far as to speak of friendship with certain journalists of this editorial staff. I will inevitably lack neutrality. When the epidemic hit France and containment was declared, all non-essential activities were stopped or severely slowed down. We talked about teachers, caregivers, police, supermarket staff, etc. But we must also count the journalists, in particular the freelancers and freelancers, who continued to go on the ground to inform us. As for those who remained in drafting, they tried as best they could to decipher the restrictive measures, the sanitary gestures, etc. In summary, they informed and educated.

However, the NextRadio TV group has decided to proceed with an economic and reconquest plan, providing for the abolition of 330 to 380 CDIs and up to 200 freelancers and intermittent workers, ie one third of the workforce. Reason cited: the impact of COVID-19 and increased competition. It is true that all the private channels had to face a significant drop in their advertising revenue. But for the rest ? Just read the different reactions on Twitter with the hashtag #BFM or #BFMTV and compare it with # CNews or #LCI to see that BFM keeps a certain audience. When a media collapses, loses its audience or its readership, redundancies are unfortunately inevitable. But when they are announced in a profitable structure, it is incomprehensible and unfair.

In fact, the chain’s biggest problem is not its financial condition, but its editorial writers.

Without editorial staff, no editorialists

For too long now, the media, especially the 24-hour news channels, have favored platforms with editorial writers, who talk about everything. They must have an opinion on all subjects and pass without difficulty from the price of bread to terrorism. Inevitably, they are specialists in nothing and they sometimes say a few stupid things. The difficulty of the exercise is that it penalizes the entire work chain. Christophe Barbier, the inescapable editorialist with the red scarf in all weathers, gave us a few not always very intelligent outings. Alain Duhamel is a political journalist from Pompidou. As for Éric Brunet, who boasts that he is not a journalist, listening to him is enough to raise his blood pressure to 73. They are popular, but without a whole wording – in the broad sense – behind, the machine does not turn.

But a set with three editorials costs a lot less than a long report like the well-produced Red Line show. Without going so far as to say that the editorialists must disappear – because if they are there, it is because there is an audience behind them – the chain could renew them, putting younger people, with a more diverse background.

What you have to keep in mind is that this channel cannot stand without journalists, freelancers and freelance workers. Proof of this is that all afternoon BFM rebroadcast reports from Red Line. Having the chance to be invited quite regularly, I invite you to discover a little, with me all these people.

Walk at BFM TV

How do you get on the set of BFM TV as a guest? You receive a phone call or a Twitter email or message from a reporter. News concerns your area of ​​expertise and we invite you to come and talk about it live. You say yes and the reporter gives the information about you to a production manager. He will mention you in the planning, see with you the modes of transport, prevent security, reception and makeup room.

A taxi picks you up and takes you to the newsroom. Possibly, before the live broadcast, you will be asked to speak a few minutes in front of the camera for a report that will be broadcast later. You cross the editorial staff, arranged in open-space, you meet journalists in all corners, on their PC, on the phone, taking notes, editing reports, or all of these at the same time. During this time, the journalist and the production manager who took care of you, collect information on your career, your field, so that the journalist on set has all the elements in hand to ask relevant questions.

Then we take you down to the make-up box so that you don’t seem to come out of a grave. A technician equips you with a lapel microphone and another gives you the go to enter. Live, you have all the control room which regulates the cameras, the sound, sends the cuttings pubs or reports, monitors the speaking time of the political guests, etc. On the set, the journalist who presents must monitor his headset, keep an eye on the PC screen below the table, another on the big clock, glance at the screens in the center of the set to take account of the live broadcast, while staying close to his laptop in case and staying upright in his uncomfortable chair. A real gymnastics, almost a choreography to master.

Once you’re done, you go home. For a direct that lasted 10 minutes, you interacted with at least twenty people. People whose names and qualifications you do not necessarily know, who do not have extraordinary remuneration, whose schedules are changing from day to day.

The profession of journalist in France has become very fragile and the little support displayed to the strikers is worrying. If a chain like BFM can fire a third of the workforce by claiming savings, what will happen to the other more fragile newsrooms? It is hoped that the negotiations will have a favorable outcome.


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