In the avalanche of instantaneous information poured out by the Internet and its relays, the written press still has an advantage: presence in the field, quality of its pens, sense of storytelling. A few newspapers (including La Croix L’Hebdo) still practice immersion journalism, following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors, from Albert Londres to Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Florence Aubenas follows in their footsteps and illustrates this tradition, the coat of arms of the profession, in a beautiful way for years, by taking risks (in 2005, she was hostage in Iraq).
It is often unfair that such investment by the written press disappears overnight. We must therefore praise the Éditions de l’Olivier, which publishes a compilation of the best reports by our colleague published in Le Monde between 2015 and 2022.
We read a sensitivity at work, as close as possible to reality, whether it is the yellow vests, camping with them on the roundabouts, recording an ephemeral solidarity, the suicide of a peasant whose story she tells long descent into hell against a backdrop of humiliating inspections, the agony in nursing homes in the time of the Covid and the distress of caregivers, daily life in suspense under the bombs in Ukraine or, more wacky and no less enlightening, the rush of small dealers of the “93” to Thailand for an exotic dream vacation where they recreate their reassuring landmarks identically.
Wherever she is, down the street or at the end of the world, Florence Aubenas takes the time to sit down, observe, listen, patiently note down, grasp the significant details. In 2015, exploring the reasons for abstention in certain regions, she discerns the extent and depth of the disarray of abandoned populations in the lost provinces of the Republic.
On the night of November 13, 2015, the night of the bloody attacks, she wanders the streets of a paralyzed capital to capture its chilled atmosphere. A few months later, she is on the trail of the jihadists recruited from us.
His long series on the Hyper U of Mende (Lozère), epicenter of local life, against a background of rising precariousness, from the exploitation of the producer to the lures stretched out to consumers, reads like a frank cut of society.
Florence Aubenas never rises from the pass and lands at the right height, at the exact distance to reflect the reality of the present time. She embodies journalism at its best, honest and fair, respectful and quiet. A model.