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French media examine ethics in week of shocks

By Clea Broadhurst

The standing of the French media which suffered several shocks this week. International Media takes a look at uproar caused by a kiss on a breast, a strike over ethics and a website monitoring sexual harrassment in parliament.

 

It started with a French commentator that went a step too far when he kissed a woman's breast on live TV because she had said no to his requests for a peck on the cheek after a reenactment of the Kim Kardashian robbery in Paris.

More than 250 outraged viewers - including France’s women's rights minister Laurence Rossignol - complained to the French media regulator, the CSA, and others called for the TV show host to be prosecuted.

This is only one in a series of scandals in France.

Journalists at French 24-hour news channel iTélé went on strike, starting Monday 17 October, over growing concerns about journalistic ethics and editorial independence after the hiring of presenter Jean-Marc Morandini, who is investigated for "corruption of minors".

Antoine Genton is the president of the channel’s Society of Journalists. In the first half of this week's edition, Genton explains why he and his coworkers decided to speak up and take to the streets.

Many at iTélé see Morandini’s hiring as emblematic of a greater struggle within the newsroom to maintain editorial independence. Since mogul Vincent Bolloré gained control of the channel last year, it has undergone numerous changes, including plans to rebrand it as CNews (short for Canal+ News) on 24 October.

The strike drew a number of supporters, including future candidates in the country’s upcoming Socialist Party primaries, as well as journalists and employees from competing news stations and publications.

Meanwhile a new website was kick started on Monday 17. It's called Chair Collaboratrice, which sounds like "Dear coworker" but can be also be translated to "Flesh of my coworker".

Its aim is to encourage women working in French politics to report any kind of sexual harrassment they might be facing while doing their job.

It was launched after a deputy speaker of parliament, Denis Baupin, had to resign over allegations including sexual assault last May.

In the second half of our broadcast, Charlotte Soulary, one of the website's creators says that when the allegations came out, many treated them lightly, and that's why they have decided to launch the website.

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