The announcement of Roselyne Bachelot, on November 9, 2021 before the Senate Culture Committee, had caused an immediate union outcry. Four months after the Minister of Culture promised the advent of a “proximity digital offer” shared between France 3 and France Bleu, and a few weeks before its launch (the date is not yet known), distrust of this new service, called Here, has not really subsided. In any case not for the SNJ union of Radio France, which plans a week of mobilization from Monday March 28.
Announced for the end of the first quarter – first in the form of an application, then a website –, Here is supposed to offer its users content according to their favorite themes or their geolocation. All the information available and the programs of the forty-four local France Bleu should be accessible there, while the twenty-four regional branches of France 3 will graft their newspapers there.
“What do we know about the common France Bleu-France 3 digital platform ten days before its launch? Almost nothing, annoys the union in a press release. Nothing on work organization (…)nothing on editorial arbitrations (…)nothing on the human and financial resources (…). All this “nothing” looks like a whim of the guardianship. »
Another cause for concern: the scheduled disappearance of the Francebleu.fr domain name, absorbed by the Ici brand (including on the Radio France platform), while the presence of France 3 will continue to be ensured as such, as it is on Francetvinfo.fr, the other platform shared by France Télévisions and Radio France. While the governance of Here has been placed within an economic interest group, and this new rapprochement between public radio and television is being forced, this imbalance seems ominous.
“We have already had a very bad experience with Francetvinfo.fr, which TV has taken over”, recalls Matthieu Darriet, co-secretary of the SNJ at Radio France. As for the announcement by Emmanuel Macron of the imminent disappearance of the license fee, the main source of financing for public broadcasting, it adds to mistrust, completes a trade unionist from France Télévisions.
The mobilization will take three forms: journalists (about 400 out of 1,500 employees) are invited to cease their contributions to the website, to temporarily withdraw their image rights (so as to complicate, or prevent, the broadcasting of morning shows two antennas), and, finally, to observe a strike day on Thursday 31 March.
As it undertook to do in the wake of the restitution, on March 14, of a damning report on psychosocial risks to France Bleu, the management should quickly formulate proposals to better distribute the workload within the local radio network, while the first measures announced had been poorly received by the unions.