The International Festival of Journalism is in the center of events like never before

For the sixth time, the village of Couture-sur-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, is preparing to host the International Festival of Journalism, sponsored by the Le Monde group. It will be from 15 to 17 July and there will certainly be no shortage of hot topics and discussions. In order to select the seven topical themes that have been the backbone of the Festival since its inception in 2016, the journalists of the Le Monde group and festival visitors, who were able to choose their favorite topics on the Facebook page of the event, did not have to rack their brains, but indulged in the hard work of selection.

The editorial team of the festival, consisting of journalists from “Courrier international”, HuffPost, “Le Monde”, “l’Obs”, “Télérama” and “la Vie”, as well as seven students from the Institute of Journalism of Bordeaux-Aquitaine (IJBA). ), has been working since January on the content of these topics and on the personalities – journalists, researchers, artists, current events and civil society figures – who will come to express themselves. The International Festival of Journalism is the only event that these six newsrooms have worked together for two years in the new Parisian building of the Le Monde group.

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As usual, three topics were chosen to focus on media and journalism, and four more related to current events. In the first category, there is a topic that is difficult to avoid at a journalism festival: the concentration of the media in France. While the merger of Vivendi and Lagardère is already part of the media landscape, and the merger of TF1 and M6 is on track, we will be questioning the implications 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, as it is owned by businessmen Xavier Niel and Mathieu Pigasse.

Pierre Husky, columnist for France-Inter and l’Obs, during FIJ 2021 in Couture-sur-Garonne. (CHARLES BURY FOR IJF)

The Ukrainian crisis has recently prompted us to add a topic on information as a weapon of war, where we will draw lessons from the past and analyze the present, in which the conflict turns into the field of information, and alternative “truths”. . Before the conflict, we planned to address the issue of freedom of information in Russia in Couthures. The news has caught up with us.

The third topic, devoted to journalism, is inextricably linked with the previous one: it will be about the objectivity of information. First it will be necessary to define the term itself in order to distinguish it from neutrality or honesty. Is objectivity possible at all, or is it a horizon beyond which journalists run away without ever reaching it? We will also talk about journalism of facts and journalism of opinion, journalism of the dedicated and militant journalism.

During the 2021 FIJ show in Couture-sur-Garonne.  (CAMILLE MILIERAND/DIVERGENCY FOR

During the 2021 FIJ show in Couture-sur-Garonne. (CAMILLE MILIERAND/DIVERGENCY FOR “PEACE”)

From the point of view of current affairs and social issues, the topic “Borders, protection or prison”, which already had much in common with the national and international context of recent months, is further legitimized by the invasion of Ukraine and the expansionist policies of Vladimir Putin. As for the one on “Green Transition to Inequality”, he would question the validity of the slogan “End of the world, end of the month, same struggle” taken up during the yellow vest movement by those who tried to reconcile climate emergency and social emergency.

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The environmental issue will also emerge against the backdrop of the soberly named theme “Should we still have children? ”, where we will talk about demographics, generations and attitudes towards the family. And to console ourselves after discussing these somewhat troubling topics, it must be admitted, we will discuss the great payoffs of proper nutrition, further emphasized by the pandemic and periods of self-isolation, with, as promised, some practical work in the vein. : it will be “All gourmets! ”, the seventh theme of this Festival.

Christian Taubira and Nicolas Truong, journalist for Le Monde, during FIJ 2021 in Couture-sur-Garonne.  (CAMILLE MILIERAND/DIVERGENCY FOR

Christian Taubira and Nicolas Truong, journalist for Le Monde, during FIJ 2021 in Couture-sur-Garonne. (CAMILLE MILIERAND/DIVERGENCY FOR “PEACE”)

For those who have never tried this festival, which seems important to us in these times of great information confusion, this is an event intended for the general public that allows news enthusiasts to exchange broken sticks with information professionals for three days, and this is at the most hospitable and friendly environment of the village of Couture, less than 400 inhabitants, and the banks of the Garonne.

The program is developed 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, Sud Ouest, Liberation, Mediapart, Les Jours . “,” L’Express”, “XXI”, “Topo”, “La Revue Dessinée”, “El Watan”, “Le Guardian”, “Le Temps”, “La Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “El Pais”, “Corriere della sera”, while not forgetting some youtubers, tiktokers and other instagrammers who are inventing new ways of expressing information.

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The International Journalism Festival is about 150 meetings, debates, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, performances and concerts over three days, a Children’s Festival for children of festival visitors and teenagers, quality catering from the producers of lot-et-garonnais… The perfect time and place to calm down and try to learn the lessons of an exceptional year in terms of news intensity.

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