The International Journalism Festival more than ever at the heart of the news

For the sixth time, the Lot-et-Garonne village of Couthures-sur-Garonne is preparing to host the International Journalism Festival, sponsored by the Le Monde group. It will be from July 15 to 17 and there will certainly be no shortage of current topics and discussions. To select the seven current themes, which, since its creation in 2016, constitute the backbone of the Festival, the journalists of the Le Monde group and the festival-goers, who were able to choose their favorite subjects on the Facebook page of the event, did not have to rack their brains, but rather lent themselves to a difficult job of selection.

The Festival’s editorial team, made up of journalists from International mailfrom HuffPostfrom Worldof The Obsof Telerama and of The life, but also seven students from the Institute of Journalism Bordeaux-Aquitaine (IJBA), has been working since January on the content of these themes and on the personalities – journalists, researchers, artists, actors in the news and civil society – who will speak. The International Journalism Festival is the only event on which these six editorial staff have been working together for two years in the new Parisian building of the Le Monde group.

As usual, three themes devoted to the media and journalism were selected, and four others linked to current affairs. In the first category, there is a subject that is difficult to circumvent in a journalism festival: the concentration of the media in France. While the merger between Vivendi and Lagardère is already part of the media landscape and the merger between TF1 and M6 is on track, we will wonder about the consequences of this phenomenon and its impact on the quality of information. Festival-goers will certainly not fail to remind the Le Monde group that it is itself concerned, since it is owned by businessmen Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse.

The 2021 Journalism Festival, in Couthures-sur-Garonne.

Alternative “Truths”

The Ukrainian crisis has recently led us to add a theme relating to information as a weapon of war, where we will summon lessons from the past and live analyzes of a present which sees the conflict moving into the field of information. and alternative “truths”. We had planned even before the conflict to address, in Couthures, the question of freedom of information in Russia. The news has caught up with us.

The third theme devoted to journalism is not unrelated to the previous one: it will address the issue of objectivity in terms of information. It will first be necessary to define the term itself, to distinguish it from those of neutrality or honesty. Is objectivity even possible or is it a horizon behind which journalists run, without ever being able to reach it? We will also talk about factual journalism and opinion journalism, committed journalism and militant journalism.

Read also International Journalism Festival: an event for the general public

In terms of current affairs and social issues, the theme “Borders, protection or prison? which already largely echoed the national and international context of recent months, is further legitimized by the invasion of Ukraine and the expansionist policy of Vladimir Putin. As for the one devoted to “The ecological transition to the challenge of inequalities”, it will question the relevance of the slogan “End of the world, end of the month, same fight” taken up during the movement of “yellow vests” by those who tried to bring together climate emergency and social emergency.

After these somewhat anxiety-provoking subjects, we will discuss the great return of eating well, practical work at the key

The environmental question will also appear in the background of the soberly titled theme “Should we still have children? », where we will talk about demography, generations and the relationship to the family. And to comfort ourselves after debating these somewhat anxiety-provoking subjects, it must be admitted, we will discuss the great return of eating well, further accentuated by the pandemic and the periods of confinement, with, it is promised, some practical work the key: it will be “All gourmets! », the seventh theme of this Festival.

Former journalist Audrey Pulvar interviewed during the 2021 Festival by Nicolas Truong (“Le Monde”).

For those who have never tasted this festival, which seems essential to us in these times of great informational confusion, it is an event intended for the general public, which allows news enthusiasts to exchange broken sticks for three days with information professionals, and this in the most welcoming and friendly setting of the village of Couthures, less than 400 inhabitants, and the banks of the Garonne.

The programming is designed and provided by journalists from the Le Monde group, but all forms of journalism are present. Among the media whose journalists have already confirmed their presence in July: France Télévisions, France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine, M6, Arte, LCI, France Inter, AFP, South West, Release, Mediapart, The Days, The Express, XXI, Topo, The comic magazine, El Watanthe Guardian, The weatherthe Suddeutsche Zeitung, El Paísthe Corriere della Seranot to mention a few youtubeurs, tiktokeurs and other instagramers, who invent new expressions of information.

The International Journalism Festival is about 150 meetings, debates, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, performances and concerts over three days, a Junior Festival for the children of festival-goers and teenagers, quality catering provided by producers lot-et -garonnais… The perfect time and place to settle down and try to learn the lessons of an exceptional year from the point of view of the intensity of the news.

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