French reporters based abroad warn of their working conditions: “Protect us!”
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) fully supports the appeal made to the French authorities by more than 180 foreign correspondents of the French media. The EFJ joins its affiliates in France, SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT-Journalistes, in calling on the authorities and employers to take concrete action in favour of these journalists.
Here is their appeal:
On the occasion of the official launch of the “Etats généraux de l’information” on 3 October in France, more than 180 current and former foreign reporters and correspondents based abroad are calling on the French authorities to address the deterioration in our working conditions. On Monday 16 October, a seminar was held at the French Senate to take stock of the situation and consider legislative solutions likely to improve our daily lives, particularly in terms of social protection. President Emmanuel Macron, give us the means to continue doing our job!
The first live broadcast of the earthquake in Morocco? That was us. The coverage of the coup d’état in Niger, the resignation of the President of the Spanish Football Federation, the trial of Donald Trump? That was us again.
The images of exotic and unusual landscapes; the sound of Spanish, Peul, Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin in the microphone; the in-depth investigations that require long-term work? All this material that feeds your social networks and your favourite channels throughout the year is the fruit of our labour. We collect these snippets of stories from the four corners of the world, sometimes risking our lives in the process. Our work feeds the news bulletins of television channels and radio stations, both public and private, and fills the international pages of the written press and online media.
We journalists, reporters and correspondents are often paid on a freelance basis. We live abroad to cover the news for the French media. We live in these countries, we learn the language and customs, we get to know the players. On the front line and as close as possible to the news, we shoot reports, write articles and take photos to provide our audiences with reliable, high-quality information as quickly as possible. We often support the special correspondents that the media subsequently send to supplement our coverage when the news requires reinforcements.
But for several years now, our working conditions have been deteriorating: we were already in a precarious position, and we are becoming increasingly so. The media, our employers, are reluctant to pay us a salary with a pay slip, as required by law. Although the law and its jurisprudence recognise our status as employees, more and more media treat us as service providers and pay us on invoice. Others, claiming to comply with current legislation, give us pay slips stripped of all social security contributions and charges. In the current state of the law, the social security authorities have already deregistered several foreign reporters and correspondents based out of France.
The consequences are dramatic. In Ukraine, a journalist suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had to give up sick leave to avoid being struck off by the social security system. Another journalist was unable to take maternity leave and received no income for five months. Another reporter, who works for a public media outlet, does so through a production company based in Côte d’Ivoire, with a contract governed by Mauritian law.
President Emmanuel Macron has called on journalists abroad to carry “the voice of France”. Please allow us, Mr President, to express our discomfort with this choice of words and to remind you of our independence. But there is still time for you to look at our working conditions.
Today, we are calling on the French authorities, legislators and the media that employ us: we demand access, like our other colleagues, to healthcare, pensions and unemployment benefits. We have the right not to be afraid of falling ill when we are working. Our rigorous work in the field means that you know what is happening on the other side of the world. Give us the means to continue doing our job.
Thomas Abgrall, Jean-Mathieu Albertini, Salvatore Aloise, Loubna Anaki, Louise André-Williams, Elodie Auffray, Mariétou Ba, Sarah Bakaloglou, Marie-Hélène Ballestero, Claire Bargelès, Arwa Barkallah, Côme Bastin, Aurélie Bazzara-Kibangula, Céline Béal, Najet Benrabaa, Jihane Bergaoui, Samuel Bernard, Shona Bhattacharyya, Hélène Bienvenu, Violette Bonnebas, Olivier Bonnel, Hervé Bossy, Raphaël Boukandoura, Tristan de Bourbon-Parme, Christophe Bourdoiseau, Delphine Bousquet, Edith Bouvier, Eliott Brachet, Thomas Broggini, Joël Bronner, Laure Broulard, Rafaële Brillaud, François Camps, François Cardona, Mayalen de Castelbajac, Juliette Chaignon, Solène Chalvon Fioriti, Florence de Changy, Romain Chanson, Juliette Chapalain, Amanda Chaparro, Pierre Chaperon, Clémence Cluzel, Killian Cogan, Théo Conscience, Sarah Cozzolino, Olivier Da Lage, Marie-Line Darcy, Marion Dautry, Valérie Demont, Naïla Derroisné, Emmanuel Derville, Eric Domergue, Pierre Donadieu, Sophie Douce, Edouard Dropsy, Olivier Dubois, Maryline Dumas, Martin Dumas Primbault, Gwendolina Duval, Quentin Duval, Chloé Emmanouilidis, Marion Esnault, Liza Fabbian, Agnès Faivre, Sébastien Farcis, Allison Fernandes, Justine Fontaine, Marion Fontenille, Samuel Forey, Ludovic de Foucaud, Anthony Fouchard, Eric Frosio, Alice Froussard, Cécile Galluccio, Mathieu Galtier, Sophie Garcia, Elise Gazengel, Flora Genoux, Régis Gente, Jean-François Gérard, Maria Gerth-Niculescu, Nadjet Ghemzi, Thomas Guichard, Laure Giuly, Siavosh Ghazi, Sébastien Gobert, Paul Gogo, Marion Gonidec, Elodie Goulesque, Youenn Gourlay, Maureen Grisot, Julia Guggenheim, Sophie Guignon, Thomas Harms, Amaury Hauchard, Fleur de la Haye, Isaure Hiace, Ludovic Hirtzmann, Mélina Huet, Blandine Hugonnet, François Hume-Ferkatadji, Jeanne Hutin, Carol Isoux, Marine Jeannin, Joséphine Kloeckner, Florence La Bruyère, Claudia Lacave, Camille Laffont, Camille Lafrance, Manon Laplace, Henry de Laguerie, Ariane Lavrilleux, Virginie Le Borgne, Jenna Le Bras, Thomas Lecomte, Marine Leduc, Pierre Le Duff, Joël Le Pavous, Estelle Levresse, Laxmi Lota, Corentin Léotard, Kaourou Magassa, Matteo Maillard, Marc-Henri Maisonhaute, Antoine Mariotti, Victor Mauriat, Nadège Mazars, Sara Menai, Frédéric Métézeau, Florence Miettaux, Alice Moreno, Carlotte Morteo, Soraya Morvan-Smith, Antoine Mouteau, Clothilde Mraffko, Sarah Nabli, Luisa Nannipieri, Maud Ninauve, Fanny Noaro-Kabré, Théa Ollivier, Valentin Pauluzzi, Clémence Pénard, David Philippot, Maurin Picard, Céline Pierre-Magnani, Coralie Pierret, Christelle Pire, Gabriel Porromento, Alice Pouyat, Stanislas Poyet, Mathias Raynal, Amandine Réaux, Nicolas Réméné, Romain Reverdy, Florence Richard, Sibylle Rizk, Rico Rizzitelli, Nicolas Rocca, Maxime Rochard, Nils Sabin, Leïla Salhi, Thomas Schnee, Louis Seiller, Adrien Simorre, Romain Sinnes, Stéphane Siohan, Emmanuelle Steels, Cerise Sudry-Le Dû, Mathieu de Taillac, Sarah Tétaud, Albane Thirouard, Nathalie Tissot, Florent Torchut, Frédéric Traïni, Carol Valade, Léo Vidal-Giraud, Anne Vigna, Aude Villiers-Moriamé, Emeline Vin, Marielle Vitureau, Emeline Wuilbercq
These journalists are all foreign correspondents or former correspondents, working or having worked in the following countries:
Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Burma, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, South Africa, Central Africa, Chile, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Congo (DRC) , South Korea, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Spain, United States, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Niger, Nigeria, New Zealand, Palestine, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Russia, Senegal , Sweden, Sudan, Taiwan, Chad, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.
They work or have worked for the following media:
AFP, Alternatives Economiques, Arte, BFM TV, Canal+, CNews, Courrier International, La Dépêche du Midi, Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace, Europe 1, France 24, France Culture, France Info, France Inter, France Football, La Croix, L’Équipe, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Le Monde Afrique, Le Parisien, Le Point, Le Point Afrique, Le Télégramme, Les Echos, L’Express, Libération, Marianne, Medi 1, Mediapart, Mind RH, Ouest France, Revue XXI, RFI, RTL, So Foot, Sud Ouest, TV5MONDE, VoxEurop.
With the support of the following organizations:
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), CFDT-Journalistes, SNJ-CGT, Profession Pigiste, Radio Spartacus, Collectif Les Journalopes, Collectif La Fourmilière.