January 24, 2022

Faced with “conspiracy” and “false information”, Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to the role of the press

Emmanuel Macron during the presentation of his wishes to the press at the Elysée Palace, in Paris, on January 11, 2022.

Some words are ritualistic, but they find a different meaning depending on the context in which they are pronounced. Emmanuel Macron presented his wishes to the press, Tuesday, January 11, at the Elysee Palace. The last of his five-year term, three months before the presidential election on April 10 and 24.

Once again, the Head of State recalled “The need for a strong, free and independent press”. According to him, this need would even be redoubled at a time when the Covid-19 crisis hits, a real catalyst for two years of “Conspiracy phenomena”. “Rarely have we needed journalists so much”, whose ” deontology “ has for vocation “To build the truth”, underlined Mr. Macron, when “Everyone can improvise a journalist” using a smartphone. Without the press, “The waves of false information would have been more powerful and even more dangerous”, he estimated.

Read also Emmanuel Macron and the press, a tumultuous story

The same morning, the President of the Republic received a report on disinformation and conspiracy that he had commissioned, in September 2021, from a commission on “The Enlightenment in the digital age”, chaired by sociologist Gerald Bronner. From this work, he removes the need for “Train children more in the spirit of method” facing the“Collapse of any relation to the truth”, but also to fight against “Algorithmic confinement” built by the giants of the Web, which leads everyone to remain confined to a bubble on social networks.

The tenant of the Elysée also called for a work of “Peer recognition” from the editorial staff, which would aim to “Identify reliable media”. An antiphon from the executive, criticized several times since the start of the quinquennium for threatening to create a “Council of the order of journalists”, or to have listed, on the government website, sources of information that he deemed to be trustworthy, in the context of the health crisis. A return to “Ministry of information”, he was then reproached.

“Cultural fight”

More generally, Emmanuel Macron especially wanted to pose as the herald of a “Cultural struggle” : that of ” long time “ and of ” critical mind “ face au “Diktat of emotion”. Or, to use the words used in an interview with World by its Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, representing the “Camp of the Republic, reason and balance”. “We have to rearm”, warned Mr. Macron, facing “The precariousness of democracy and the values ​​which are ours”.

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