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IRIS 2009-4:10/13

France

France: Canal+ and i-Télé Formally Ordered to Observe Honesty in News Items

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

Coming after France 2 having broadcast erroneous news images in a news item on the conflict between Israel and Palestine last January, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (national audiovisual regulatory authority - CSA) decided on 24 February 2009 to issue a formal order to the channels Canal+ and i-Télé reminding them to observe their obligation of honesty in the information they broadcast as required by Article 28 of the Act of 30 September 1986 and as specified in their agreements. The two channels, which belong to the same group, had broadcast in their newscasts on 17 February 2009 an item on the demonstrations in Guadeloupe, which included images of an intervention by armed forces against demonstrators in Madagascar. The CSA held that “as there was no indication given on the screen about the content of the images, which bore no relation to the item being dealt with, broadcasting them was likely to cause confusion in viewers’ minds”.

The management of the Canal+ group has indicated that “the item was corrected immediately after its first showing (at 1.06 p.m. on i-Télé); a new version was on the air from the 1.15 p.m. edition onwards". Also, Apologies were proffered “for this unfortunate error which led to 20 seconds of images of Madagascar being used to illustrate an item on Guadeloupe”. It should be recalled that a formal order of this kind is at the level below a financial penalty, which the CSA may impose in the event of a further infringement.

References
Communiqué de presse du CSA, 26 février 2009 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=11631
 
  Press release by the CSA on 26 February 2009