FRANCE

Eight out of 10 in France say media ‘indispensable’ to democracy

Ludovic Marin, AFP | Journalists gather outside the French presidential palace in Paris on Feb. 28, 2018
2 min

More than eight out of 10, or 84 percent, of French citizens feel that the media is “indispensable” to a working democracy, according to a survey conducted for France Médias Monde and other French news organisations released on Sunday.

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This opinion is widely shared regardless of social background, age or station in life: 96 percent of executives believe in the usefulness of journalism versus 94 percent of intermediate professions and 90 percent of employees and workers.

Some 1,800 people over the age of 18 took part in the February 12-15 survey, which also showed that more than nine out of 10 French nationals (92 percent) find journalism “useful”, in particular for verifying news sources and detecting and debunking so-called fake news and other sources of disinformation.

Asked about President Emmanuel Macron’s new proposal to crack down on fake news, 70 percent of participants responded that they find it reasonable that the government would intervene to stop it from spreading.

Some 67 percent also said they feel it is the “responsibility of top journalists to verify information” since public authorities may not have the necessary resources to determine whether a news story is fake or not.

The survey was conducted by pollster Viavoice for broadcasters France Médias Monde, Radio France, France Télévisions as well as French weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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