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France

Blog   |   Belgium, France, Internet

Cyberattacks rattle French, Belgian media outlets

A picture taken on April 9, 2015, shows a note on the window of a newsroom at French television network TV5Monde headquarters in Paris, after TV5Monde was hacked by individuals claiming to belong to the Islamic State group. (AFP/Thomas Samson)

The headquarters of Le Soir in the center of Brussels, two blocks away from the Parliament, look serene in the spring sunshine. No sign of violence scars the glass and stone facade. But the leading Belgian francophone daily, the flagship of the Rossel media group, has suffered a concussion. On Sunday a wave of hacking attacks rocked the paper. At 07:00 p.m., the hottest moment of the day when articles were pouring in and had to be published on deadline, the Newsgate data center started to slow down, the Wifi was disabled, the journalists’ professional and personal emails were neutralized. The paper-- where I am a columnist--immediately took emergency measures, separating the Internet from the intranet, to counter the attack and prevent the hackers from taking over the websites.

Blog   |   France, Internet

In blocking websites, France abandons role as guardian of free speech

A sign welcomes Bernard Cazeneuve to Facebook's offices in California. France's Interior Minister was in the U.S. in February to press technology companies for help in blocking content. (AFP/Susana Bates)

Attempts by the French government this week to use vague legislation to block five websites for "condoning terrorism" would be troubling anywhere, but it is especially tragic coming from the country that gave us the champion of free speech and tolerance, Voltaire.

March 19, 2015 10:32 AM ET

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Blog   |   France

Je suis Charlie sentiment fades amid calls to tame free speech

Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo continues to be published after the deadly attack on its staff, but the show of solidarity for freedom of expression is subsiding. (AFP/Martin Bureau)

Je suis Charlie. Two months after that phrase was used around the world to show solidarity with the victims of the January 7 attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, flowers are still left at the site of the killings on Rue Nicolas Appert in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The street has reopened to traffic but the magazine's premises are still under police protection. The satirical weekly has not surrendered. Despite the deaths of its iconic cartoonists Charb, Wolinski, Cabu, and Tignous, it is back in the newsstands with its caustic tone intact.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso, China, France, India

Ban of India's Daughter and other films silences debate on key issues

A poster advertises a screening of Timbuktu at the Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso. The Oscar-nominated film on Islamic militancy was barred from a Paris suburb. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

What do Delhi, Beijing, and Villiers-sur-Marne have in common, but Ouagadougou does not? The first three recently banned access to films their governments deemed inappropriate. But a film festival in the fourth, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa, is stepping up security to show an acclaimed but controversial movie about Islamic militancy in neighboring Mali.

Blog   |   China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey

After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Click on the image above to view a StoryMap of reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack. (StoryMap/Samantha Libby)

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

Blog   |   France

Charlie Hebdo attack unites France on free expression, but will solidarity hold?

A vigil in France for victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. In cities across the world, pens and signs reading I Am Charlie were held aloft in honor of those killed in the gun attack. (AFP/Thierry Zoccolan)

The attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has sent shock waves through France and beyond. Not only because 12 people have been killed in cold blood and many were wounded in what was the deadliest terrorist attack in France since 1961, when right wingers bombed a train killing 28 people. Not only because, after an attack in neighboring Belgium last May and French citizens joining extremist fighters in Syria and Iraq in recent months, the country feared something dramatic might happen soon, and that it eventually did.

Blog   |   France

French muckraker Mediapart to appeal to European Court of Human Rights

In the course of a couple of hours on Wednesday, France was rocked by two judicial decisions with profound political repercussions for French politics and the press' right to publish. Just as a baffled public learned that former President Nicolas Sarkozy had been put under formal investigation for corruption and influence-peddling, France's highest court, the Cour de Cassation, upheld a July 2013 lower court ruling ordering the muckraking news website Mediapart to take down 72 articles related to "l'affaire Bettencourt." It's a fight destined to continue, with a founder of Mediapart vowing to take the free-press case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Blog   |   Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugual, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, UK

EU underscores support of free expression, but slights access to information

A new document on freedom of expression and opinion, adopted May 12 by the 28 foreign ministers of the European Union, presses nearly all the right buttons. Drawing its inspiration from international human rights norms as well as from the EU's treaties and its charter of fundamental rights, the document reaffirms the role of freedom of opinion and expression as "an essential foundation for democracy, rule of law, peace, stability, sustainable inclusive development, and participation in public affairs." It also makes a strong case for free and independent journalism. The ministers committed the EU and member states to the defense of journalists' freedom and safety, and endorsed watchdog journalism as a decisive factor in "uncovering abuses of power, shining a light on corruption, and questioning received opinion."

Blog   |   CPJ, France, Guatemala

Defining success in the fight against impunity

For the second time this year, the U.N. Security Council took up the issue of protection of journalists. In a discussion today sponsored by the French and Guatemalan delegations, and open to NGOs, speaker after speaker and country after country hammered home the same essential facts: The vast majority of journalists murdered around the world are local reporters working in their own country, covering human rights, corruption, conflict and politics. In nine out of ten of these murders, no one is ever prosecuted.

December 13, 2013 5:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, France, India, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Training can help journalists survive captivity

Two murdered journalists for the Africa service of Radio France Internationale, Ghislaine Dupont, 51, and Claude Verlon, 58, might have had a chance. They were abducted on November 2 in Kidal in northern Mali, but the vehicle their captors were driving suddenly broke down, according to news reports.

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