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"We," The World "journalists ..."

2019-09-10T10:37:27.911Z

More than 460 journalists at "Le Monde" are asking their owners to guarantee their editorial independence by granting them a right of approval for new controlling shareholders.


The World is at a crossroads. For the first time in its history, it could be forced to accept a new shareholder in its capital without its beeing consulted. Our editorial freedom is at stake.

Read the text in French: "Nous, journalists du" Monde "..."

For the past year, it is with extreme concern that we have witnessed the first important change in our group of investors (Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse). In October 2018 we learned the sale of 49% of the shares of Matthieu Pigasse to the industrialist, Daniel Kretinsky. The World's Independence Group, a minority shareholder gathering the association of journalists, the staff, the readers and the founders, was not informed of this operation.

This announcement aroused concerns. Subsequently, on October 25th 2018, Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel, Pierre Bergé's two principal conditions since the death in 2017, agreed in writing to grant the Independence Group a right of approval. Such a clause would allow the Independence Group to have the right to approve or disapprove of any new shareholder with controlling rights. They also committed to carry out any movement of capital until this day of approval had been formalized.

After a year of intense negotiations, this right has not been signed in. Last summer, our concern with the opening of exclusive negotiations by Mr Pigasse and Mr Kretinsky to buy the shares of the Spanish group, Prisa, another non-controlling shareholder of Le Monde .

On Tuesday 3rd September, the Independence Group is asked that Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse fulfilled their promise to guarantee our independence and to sign this right of approval before September 17th. Xavier Niel did so on Monday September 9th.

Moral promises

We, journalists, expect Matthew Pigasse to do the same. We also ask his new associate, Daniel Kretinsky, to co-sign this agreement. Pierre Bergé's heir, Madison Cox, to add his signature.

This right of approval is an essential document to complete and reinforce the fragile mechanism protecting our work. Without this danger , The world's unique situation in the French press could be threatened: we could have bought a new shareholder who could trample the checks and balances between the editorial staff and the owners, set up over the past ten years .

This approach is simple, it's about giving a legal form to the spirit of the relationship established in 2010 - when the newspaper was purchased - with Mr Bergé, Niel and Pigasse, whom we thing by vote.

Since then, there has been no exception to this rule of separation between capital and journalists. This "trio" of uncomplicated commitments. They provide the means of our development while respecting the editorial independence of the various publications of our group ( Le Monde, Télérama, Courrier International, La Vie ...).

Instead of giving in to the temptation of poor quality, the editorial staff of Le Monde has neither lost nor substance. The news has never been considered as a source of profit. Over the past ten years, the number of journalists has risen to 450 persons.

When we lost the economic control of our business, in 2010, we did not leave our culture of independence - forged over seventy-five years of a very eventful history. We did not reach our capacity to defend collectively our principles and values. We have retained full control of our texts and images. This freedom, protected from any form of intervention or influence, has enabled us to publish stories and investigations which challenge political and economic powers in France and abroad.

Our most valuable asset

This is our most valuable asset. Any substantial change in the capital that would not be approved by the staff would have the relationship built over the past ten years with our shareholders. It would cast a shadow over the value of journalism at The World and would deteriorate our readers' trust.

In contrast, the granting of a right of approval for newcomers would strengthen their independence. Now that Xavier Niel has proved his commitment, we expect Matthew Pigasse and Daniel Kretinsky to do the same.

This is an opportunity for Mr Kretinsky to meet his desire to support traditional journalism and uphold democracy , as stated in Paris on September 5th.

The signature of the right of approval is a prerequisite for the opening of discussions to discover the real intentions of Mr Kretinsky. It would also be a first indication that the industrialist understands the specific identity of the group.

We, Le Monde journalists, are determined to defend our independence and thus preserve our relationship with our readers.

More than 460 signatories

Laurence Abrault · Thouria Adouani · Chloé Aeberhardt · Francine Aizicovici · Eric Albert · Grégoire Allix · Claire Ané · Florence Aubenas · Jean-Marie Audin · William Audureau · Simon Auffret · Christophe Ayad · Roxana Azimi · Raphaëlle Bacqué · Asia Ballufier · Rémi Barroux · Benjamin Barthe · Pierre Barthélémy · Elise Barthet · Jérémie Baruch · Mattea Battaglia · Marie-Béatrice Baudet · Maryline Baumard · François Béguin · Hélène Bekmezian · Elisa Bellanger · Harry Bellet · Laure Belot · Sarah Belouezzane · Michelle Benaïm · Helen Benard · Paul Benkimoun · Cyril Bensimon · Laetitia Beraud · Philippe Bernard · Sandrine Berthaud-Clair · Elisabeth Berthou · Raphaëlle Besse Desmoulieres · Marc Bettinelli · Alain Beuve-Mery · Jean-Michel Bezat · Eric Bezziat · Marc-Olivier Bherer · Julie Welcome · Stéphanie Binet · Jean Birnbaum · Patrice Birot · Gregory Biseau · Bertrand Bissuel · Sandrine Blanchard · Samuel Bl umenfeld · Frédéric Bobin · Alexandra Bogaert · Béatrice Boisserie · Bastien Bonnefous · Yves Bordenave · Camille Bordenet · Laurent Borredon · François Bostnavaron · Cécile Bouanchaud · Yann Bouchez · Julien Bouissou · Nicolas Bourcier · Hugues Bourgeois · Pierre Bouvier · Marianne Boyer · Charlotte Bozonnet · Nathalie Brafman · Mirel Bran · Pierre Breteau · Luc Bronner · Philippe Broussard · Dominique Buffier · Sandrine Cabut · Corinne Callebaut · Julie Campanaud · Elvire Camus · Juliette Camuzard · Catherine Capdeville · Laurence Caramel · Laurent Carpentier · Arthur Carpentier · Mirabelle Square · Julie Carriat Claudine Carroue Sandrine Cassini Véronique Cauhapé Frédéric Cazenave Emeline Cazi Luc Cédelle Charlotte Chabas Cécile Chambraud Isabelle Chaperon Nicolas Chapuis Marie Charrel Jean-Baptiste Chastand Christophe Chatelot Sylvie Chayette Anne Chemin · Ariane Path · E Emmanuelle Chevallereau · Véronique Chocron · Nadir Chougar · Olivier Clairouin · Julie Clarini · Laetitia Clavreul · Annick Cojean · Aurélie Collas · Eric Collier · Franck Colombani · Alain Constant · Solène Cordier · Denis Cosnard · Mathilde Costil · Gabriel Coutagne · Cécile Coutureau Merino · Louise Curatorial · Pauline Croquet · Sophie Cureau · Amaury Da Cunha · Philippe Da Silva · Philippe Dagen · Gary Dagorn · Agathe Dahyot · Mathilde Damge · Fabienne Darge · Stéphane Davet · Gerard Davet · Emmanuel Davidenkoff · Lorraine De Foucher · Jean-Baptiste De Montvalon · Solenn De Royer · Marie De Vergès · Eric Dedier · Charles Delacro · Charles Delaere · Martine Delahaye · Alexis Delcambre · Marie Delcas · Corine Descacq-Missengue · Thomas Doustaly · Marion Doutreligne · Zineb Dryef · Cécile Ducourtieux · Eugénie Dumas · Olivier Dumons · Clémence Duneau · Gaëlle Dupont · Anne-Aël Durand · Marlene Duretz · Guy Dutheil · Al exis Duval · Pauline Eiferman · Karim El Hadj · Mouna El Mokhtari · Philippe Escande · Philippe Euzen · Anne Eveno · Florence Evin · Clarisse Fabre · Vincent Fagot · Francesca Fattori · Moïna Fauchier Delavigne · Anne Favalier · Olivier Faye · Jérôme Fenoglio · Maxime Ferrer · Colin Folliot · Jacques Follorou · Stephane Foucart · Audrey Fournier · Alain Frachon · Guillaume Fraissard · Francoise Fressoz · Pascal Galinier · Dominique Gallois · Juliette Garnier · Audrey Garric · Claire · Jérôme Gautheret · Agnès Gautheron · Patricia Gauthier · Nelly Gbaka · Roman Geoffroy · Clara Georges · Florent Georgesco · Mathilde Gérard · Clement Ghys · Muriel Gilbert · Baptiste Giovenco · Laurence Girard · Rachida Gmiz · Matthew Goar · Maxime Goldbaum · Ghazal Golshiri · Jessica Gourdon · Emilie Grangeray · Sandra Grangeray · Séverin Graveleau · Stéphanie Grin · Charles-Henry Groult · Magali Gruet · Fabienne Grünfeld · Light Guelaud · Michel Guerrin · Nathalie Guibert · Angèle Guicharnaud · Anne Guillard · Claire Guillot · Clement Guillou · Julien Guintard · Beatrice Gurrey · Anne Hazard · Chloé Hecketsweiler · Coralie Heintz · Victor Heitz · Cécile Hennion · Anthony Hernandez · Marion Herold · Olivier Herviaux Nathaniel Herzberg · Charlotte Herzog · Anne-Francoise Hivert · Flavie Holzinger · Benoît Hopquin · Stéphane Horel · Romain Imbach · Louis Imbert · Léa Iribarnegaray · Philippe Jacqué · Jean-Baptiste Jacquin · Aymeric Janier · Emmanuelle Jardonnet · Pierre Jaxel-Truer · Lucien Jedwab · Béatrice Jérôme · Nicolas Jimenez · Franck Johannès · Patricia Jolly · Lucile Jouvin · Pierre Jullien · Annie Kahn · Coumba Kane · Sylvie Kauffmann · Allan Kaval · Sylvie Kerviel · Mustapha Kessous · Fiona Khalifa · Pascale Kremer · Solène Henoret · Patrick Labesse · Xemartin Laborde · Jade Labrunye · Brice Laemle · Olivier Laffargue · Christel Laffitte · Audrey Lagadec · Christine Laget · Laurence Lagrange · Antonin Laisne · Jérémie Lamothe · Corentin Lamy · Sophie Landrin · Marie-Pierre Lannelongue · Bruno Lantéri · Emmanuel Laparra · Julien Laroche-Joubert · David Larousserie · Aude Lasjaunias · Stéphane Lauer, Guy Lauraine · Samuel Laurent · Stephanie Le Bars · Philippe The Heart · Gwennoline The Cornec · Luke Le Digabel · Erwan The Duke · Adrien Le Gal · Pierre Le Hir · Soazig The Neve · Gilles The Nozahic · Natalie Lebreton · Aline Leclerc · Nathalie Lecomte · Pierre Lecornu Sabine Ledoux Michel Lefebvre Christine Legrand Claire Legros Marie Lelievre Damien Leloup Julien Lemaignen Frédéric Lemaitre Alexandre Lemarié Nicolas Lepeltier Pierre Lepidi Valerie Lépine Simon Lesage Corine Lesnes Bruno Leprit Raphaëlle Leyris · Fabrice Lhomme · Eric Lloret · Franck Lonjaret · Josefa Lopez · Assma Maad · Renaud Machart · Mathieu Machere · Matteo Maillard · Maxime Mainguet · Veronique Malecot · Virginie Malingre · Stéphane Mandard · Jacques Mandelbaum · Isabelle Mandraud · Cristina Marino · Francis Marmande · Clément Martel · Christian Massol · Mauger Brunette · Stéphanie Maupas · Isabelle Meriel · Abel Mestre · Thibaud Maiss · Anne Michel · Marine Miller · Gaïdz Minassian · Bernard Monasterolo · Caroline Monnot · Angeline Montoya · Céline Mordant · Anna Moreau · Sandrine Morel · Violaine Morin · Samuel Morin · Hervé Morin · Joël Morio · Laura Motet · Olivier Mougeot · Perrine Mouterde · Isabelle Mudry Ophélie Neiman Anne-Cécile Nguyen-Thanh Michel Noblecourt Florence Noiville Jean-Michel Normand Franck Nouchi Eric Nunes Enora Ollivier Rémy Ourdan Cyril Ouzoulias Catherine Pacary Laurence Paix Chrystèle Pape Delphine Papin Clémence Parenting · Jonathan Parienté · Gilles Paris · Julia Pascual · Adrien Pécout · Brice Pedrol etti · Sylvain Peirani · Michèle Pessin · Edouard Pflimlin · Floriane Picard · Simon Piel · Cédric Pietralunga · Elisabeth Pineau · Alexandre Piquard · Jean Plantu · Yann Plougastel · Mathieu Polak · Eléa Pommiers · Anne Porquet · Frédéric Potet · Alexandre Pouchard · Sylvie Pourrias- Gittus · Cécile Prieur · Cécile Prudhomme · Etienne Rancourt · Agnès Rastouil · Paula Ravaux · Audrey Ravelli · Olivier Razemon · Audrey Rebmann · Isabelle Regnier · François Regnier · Diane Regny · Jean-Philippe Remy · Raphaëlle Rérolle · Manon Rescan · Antoine Reverchon · Isabelle Rey-Lefebvre · Florian Reynaud · Philippe Ricard · Gabriel Richalot · Philippe Ridet · Rafaele Rivais · Pascale Robert-Diard · Anne Rodier · Patrick Roger · Simon Roger · Catherine Rollot · Rospert · Delphine Roucaute · Christine Rousseau · Ingrid Rousseau · Caroline Rousseau · Marie-Aude Roux · Nadège Royer · Pierre Rubenach · Antonin Sabot · Brigitte Salin o Alain Salles · Hélène Sallon · Martine Sampieri · Léa Sanchez · Pascale Santi · Jean-Guillaume Santi · Nicolas Santolaria · Laurine Savoye · Vanessa Schneider · Henri Seckel · Soren Seelow · Camille Seeuws · Marc Semo · Adrien Sénécat · Macha Séry · Sylvain Sicily · Michel Sikora · Nicolas Six · Marie Slavicek · Piotr Smolar · Thomas Sotinel · Isabelle Souchard · Lucie Soullier · Sylvie Standley · Laure Stephan · Zdenka Stimac · Camille Stromboni · Jean-Pierre Stroobants · Yoanna Sultan · Marie Sumalla · Michaël Szadkowski · Laurent Telo · Harold Thibault · Joan Tilouine · Aureliano Tonet · Audrey Cooper · Françoise Tovo · Pierre Trouvé · Nicolas Truong · Morgane Tual · Martin Untersinger · Martine Valo · Laetitia Van Eeckhout · Gilles Van Kote · Maxime Vaudano · Anna Villechenon · Faustine Vincent · Catherine Vincent · Elise Vincent · Luc Vinogradoff · Benedict Vitkine · Elvire von Bardeleben · Nicole Vulser · Nab he Wakim · Donald Walther · Nicolas Weill · Thomas Wieder · Emeline Wuilbercq · Sylvia Zappi · Melina Zerbib · Madjid Zerrouky ·

Source: lemonde

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