In recent years, the French press has quietly undergone a transformation, barely making any ripples: “A handful of billionaires control almost all of the major national print and audiovisual media. Billionaires who certainly have not made their careers in the news business. Billionaires who have acquired almost all the newspapers not according to professional logic but with influence and complicity” of the finance world, politics and senior management of newspapers.
That’s the state of affairs presented a new book, Main basse sur l’information (Don Quichotte, 441 p., € 19.90), written by Laurent Mauduit, former deputy managing editor at Le Monde and co-founder of the Mediapart site.
The list of acquisitions of French media is staggering, and it includes big names in the press, known throughout the world. For example, the journalists of Le Monde and Libération have lost editorial control.
Mauduit describes in detail what he calls the “moral crisis” of the French media, which illustrates a more general crisis of democracy, all the more worrying now that we are a few months from the presidential election (scheduled for April 23 and May 7, 2017), when, in all likelihood, the ballot will become a clash between right and extreme right.