Hundreds of journalists marched through Paris on Thursday (26 August) to protest at the take-over of the mass-circulation evening newspaper, "France-Soir", by the controversial proprietor of "Le Figaro", M.
GV: journalists marching through street chanting.
MV: march leaders with banner reading "Les Journalists de France-Soir"
SV: Journalists passing in march.
SV: banners of FTIAAC AND CFDT
CU: building of "Le Figaro".
MV: Journalists marching past building (2 shots)
GV: Journalists chanting and carrying banner reading "CFDT-region parisienne"
In addition to his holding in the two Paris newspapers, M. Hersant owns 10 provincial dailies, nine weeklies and 11 technical and specialist magazines. The "France-Soir" strikers claim that he has failed to fulfil pledges about editorial independence given to provincial newspapers when he took them over. The strikers' mood had not been improved by M. Hersant issuing a strongly-worded communique in which he said "philanthropists ready to pour unlimited funds into a newspaper while respecting the independence of the editorial staff, belong in a rich vein of journalistic fiction."
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Background: Hundreds of journalists marched through Paris on Thursday (26 August) to protest at the take-over of the mass-circulation evening newspaper, "France-Soir", by the controversial proprietor of "Le Figaro", M. Robert Hersant.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration was called to support striking journalists at "France-Soir", who say the take-over threatens press freedom by giving M. Hersant too much control over the national press. It was just over a month ago that "France Soir" was bought by another wealthy man, M. Paul Winkler. Then, just last week, the staff on the newspaper learned that he had sold a controlling share to M. Hersant, the owner of the right-wing "Le Figaro".
Some of the protestors claim that the deal was backed by the former Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac, who resigned on Wednesday. They say M. Chirac backed the deal to stop the newspaper falling into socialist ownership. The dispute reflects the struggle for power in the French newspaper industry before the 1978 elections.
On sunday President Giscard d'Estaing offered to mediate in the dispute to try to end the strike which had stopped the newspaper being published.