Editorial coverage of student protests for a ceasefire in Gaza

For a week, blockades and student rallies for a ceasefire in Gaza have occupied media space and polarized opinion. The subject is extremely divisive and provokes a lot of reactions from listeners. In order to answer their questions, we will see together with Florent Guyotat how the franceinfo editorial staff covered this news.

Emmanuelle Daviet: First question from a listener: “What are the editorial principles that the franceinfo editorial team followed to deal with student mobilizations?”

Florent Guyotat: So, these are the same as usual. We start by stating the facts. What exactly is happening on campus? And for that, we send reporters on site, on campuses, to tell what is happening, to see it for ourselves, with our journalists. And then, we give the floor to the main stakeholders, who can give their opinions, respecting moderation, contradiction, and as much as possible avoiding invective.

Listeners do not understand why this information took on this magnitude. There were different positions taken by political figures, even the Prime Minister reacted.

Why give such media attention to these blockades, organized by a few dozen students? What was the editorial process to determine the place given to these events in the broader context of all the news in recent days, listeners ask…

Well, we give an important place to these events on the air, because we observe that this mobilization, these demonstrations, and therefore sometimes these blockages, concern several cities in France. It’s true that we talk a lot about Paris, about Sciences Po Paris, but it’s not just Paris. We also mention Lille, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne, Lyon, Menton, and then abroad of course, in the United States and the United Kingdom.

This conflict also provokes demonstrations, mobilizations, sometimes clashes, on several campuses. We echo this with our reporters in the United States, in Los Angeles, in New York, in Manchester. Because ultimately, this conflict in the Middle East provokes debates that are often extremely polarized. This is true in a large part of the world, and it is obviously normal to talk about it widely, to talk about the repercussions of the conflict throughout the world. This is truly a major news event.

Emmanuelle Daviet: How does your editorial team address the question of the balance between the freedom of expression of students who are blocked, and the right to follow courses for others? Do listeners believe that we hear more from those who participate in university blockades? What do you answer them?

Florent Guyotat: I tell them that we scrupulously ensure that each party is given the floor. And to prove it to you, as often, I’m going to play you some sound extracts from our antenna. So yes, we hear students in favor of the demonstrations and the blockades participating in them.

A Sciences Po student : “The objective is for it to make noise in France, as it did in the United States and in Ireland and in England. It must do so in France too. We are starting to talk about it, even in other countries, of what is happening at Sciences Po. So, that means that it serves a purpose. A more homogeneous movement makes more noise, there will be much more impact.

Florent Guyotat: Extract from a report by Willy Moreau at Sciences Po Paris, broadcast last Saturday in the franceinfo morning show. So I was talking to you just now about diversity of points of view. I’ll give you another example. Yesterday, at 7:10 a.m., on the franceinfo morning show, still at prime time, we interviewed Nicolas Tenzer, teacher at Sciences Po.

Nicolas Tenzer : “What I see is that it is really a very small minority of students, in fact, who are blocking the establishment in a totally unacceptable way. That this minority is absolutely not representative of the largest majority of students on site, that I think that order absolutely must return. Now we actually understand that the youth can from time to time get a little heated. The unilateral nature of this action is not acceptable. “

Florent Guyotat: Nicolas Tenzer yesterday morning on franceinfo. And to continue answering your question, just now, we heard a teacher, but we also gave the floor to students from Sciences Po Paris, who were against the blockade. It was Thursday evening, in a report by Noémie Bonnin, with Eden, from the centrist Nova union.

Eden student at Sciences Po : “We are arriving at an exam period in a week. We do not want a blockage. Most students do not want a blockage. And also, what we deplore is the exploitation of certain policies, and It certainly doesn’t help the dialogue.”

Florent Guyotat: This student was talking about political figures, who take a position on these demonstrations and these blockades. He is free to talk about exploitation, that is his judgement. What is certain is that across the entire political spectrum, we are taking a position on these events. We can also simply say that it is part of the democratic debate.

We hear them every day on Franceinfo, these political figures. Here too, we ensure that as many opinions as possible can be expressed on this news. This week, François Bayrou, the president of MoDem, Rima Hassan, the pro-Palestinian activist from France Insoumise, or even Jérôme Guedj from the Socialist Party, Xavier Bertrand from the Republicans, and Louis Aliot from the National Rally, were invited to franceinfo, and were able to express themselves on the subject.

source site