RTL, Europe 1, BFM-TV and RMC Découverte warned by Arcom

In the democratic game as on the field, we cannot claim that the match is folded at the end of the first period, but we can raise the scores. And those whom the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom) arrested on March 10 for the first phase of the presidential campaign, which ran from March 1er January to March 7, are not glorious.

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A publication on the site of the former CSA, Thursday, March 31 – twenty-one days after the decision! –, reports a warning addressed to RTL. Verification made, these are four antennas – RTL, but also Europe 1, BFM-TV and RMC Découverte – which received a warning from Arcom for not having respected the rules of fairness between the candidates, declared or presumed. For example, during the period, there were too many Eric Zemmour and Yannick Jadot on RTL, but not enough Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Anne Hidalgo. For its part, Europe 1 neglected to speak of Nathalie Arthaud and Philippe Poutou, while it “under-represented” Jean-Luc Mélenchon and ensured a ” over-representation “ to Valerie Pécresse. In case of recidivism, it is a formal notice which awaits the culprits – a procedure which can lead to a sanction, never pronounced within the framework of the speaking times.

A confusing concept

The ” speaking time “ and the “air time” that the audiovisual media are supposed to grant to the candidates depend on their “representativeness”. Assessed according to the results obtained in previous elections, polls but also the area occupied by the parties or political groups on which the candidates can rely, this notion is enough to plunge any scientist into abysses of perplexity. … It is however on this basis that Arcom sent to six antennas (RMC Story, BFM-Business, CNews, France Culture, France 5 and the TV channel Franceinfo) “firm letters”, that is to say letters reporting red line crossings already reported (without effect, therefore) by “simple remarks”. Twelve media were also entitled to these “observations” : RMC, C8, Sud Radio, Franceinfo, France Inter, M6, Radio Classique, TF1, TMC, LCI, France 2 and France 3.

We dare not imagine the results to come from the second period of the campaign, which ran from March 8 to 27: the principle of “enhanced equity” which applied then – we are now in a period of“equality” – imposed its respect by time slots. “We will have too much Jadot in the morning, but not enough Pécresse during the day”, is already expected in a radio. A presidential election, insane puzzle.

Read also Presidential election 2022: view the speaking times of each candidate in the media

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