CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Jean-Paul Marthoz

CPJ Europe Representative Jean-Paul Marthoz is a Belgian journalist and writer. He is a foreign affairs columnist for Le Soir and journalism professor at the Université catholique de Louvain.

Blog   |   France

Cautious optimism for French reporters held in Afghanistan

A poster in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris shows French hostages Stephane Taponier (left) and Herve Ghesquiere. (Reuters/Benoit Tessier)

On December 29, 2009, Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière, two seasoned reporters with the French public service TV channel France 3, and their three Afghan assistants, were taken hostage in Afghanistan. One year later, a sense of cautious optimism seems to prevail in Paris. On December 20, French authorities announced that they had received a video showing the hostages "in good health" although "they appear weakened by the detention." According to Paul Nahon, director of France 3, the video--which was not publicly broadcast--was shot "around November 20."

Blog   |   France

In France, is Sarkozy spying on journalists?

Le Carnard says Sarkozy is spying on reporters. His office calls the claim "grotesque." (Reuters/Philippe Wojazer).

Every Wednesday morning in France, rain or shine, half a million people eagerly wait for the satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchainé. Some wait for it nervously. The old-fashioned broadsheet, a venerable media institution that has no real equivalent in other European countries, posts its motto defiantly on its front page: "Freedom of the press wears out only when you do not use it." 

November 9, 2010 10:35 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

Marking the 300th day of French journalists' captivity

'Free the hostages!' is the rallying cry for those seeking the release of Hervé Ghesquière, left, and Stéphane Taponier, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan. (AFP/Michel Gangne)

Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, two journalists from the public television channel France 3, along with their Afghan translator, Mohamed Reza, and two assistants, Ghulam and Satar, have been held hostage for 300 days in Afghanistan.

Blog   |   France

Le Monde sues French president's office

Le Monde claims spying, the Elysée Palace says the paper is playing partisan political games. (AP/Laurent Cipriani)The newspaper Le Monde against the Elysée Palace, the office of the president of the French Republic: Two of France's main symbols of influence and power are facing each other in a judicial battle that promises to be a litmus test in the running battles between the press and Nicolas Sarkozy's so-called "imperial presidency."
September 17, 2010 10:31 AM ET

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Blog   |   Italy

In Italy, vote postponed on Berlusconi's ‘gag law’

Berlusconi finds a wiretap bill more difficult to pass than expected. (AP/Riccardo De Luca)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is leaving for vacation in a very bad mood. On Thursday, the House of Deputies, although dominated by Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, decided to postpone until September its vote on a wiretap bill that had been considered a bellwether by a government wracked by internecine wars and confronted with ominous poll predictions.

Blog   |   France

French journalist indicted for 'stealing' Sarkozy video

Sarkozy (AP)French journalists are flabbergasted. One of their colleagues, Augustin Scalbert, a journalist with Rue89, a leading news Web site, has just been indicted by a Paris prosecutor under the charges of “stealing and keeping” a video belonging to the public television channel France 3. If the journalist is found guilty, this indictment can land him in jail for five years or leave him with a 375,000 euro (US$458,000) fine.
June 18, 2010 5:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   France, UK

London neighborhoods increasingly ‘off-limits’ to journalists

Life can be bumpy on Britain’s campaign roads. On May 3, Jerome Taylor, a “home news” reporter with the London daily The Independent went into the Bow borough of East London in order to look into allegations of widespread postal voting fraud. His bloodied nose and face appeared in the next day’s Independent.

May 11, 2010 5:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

Rallying (hesitantly) for reporters abducted in Afghanistan

A rally in Paris seeks to publicize abductions. (AFP) What can we do to help liberate our colleagues? French journalists have been struggling with this dilemma since December 30, when two reporters of the public service TV channel France 3 and their three Afghan fixers were abducted by a group purportedly linked to the Taliban in the region of Kapisa, in eastern Afghanistan.

March 11, 2010 10:55 AM ET

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