The Lagardère group, owner of the JDD, remains inflexible despite an unprecedented strike lasting more than a month by journalists: Geoffroy Lejeune (ex-Valeurs Actunaires) “will take over the effective management of the editorial staff” from August 1.
Lagardère News regrets Monday evening, in a press release, “the position of the Society of Journalists (SDJ), which does not seem to have taken into account the proposed openings” and “led to a breakdown in negotiations, which is detrimental both to journalists and to the readers of the Journal du Dimanche”.
The announcement of the date of the effective arrival of Geoffroy Lejeune, marked on the far right, comes as the editorial staff of the JDD massively renewed until Tuesday morning its strike against the arrival at its head of this journalist.
“Certainly, it’s scary to see such blindness but that we remain aware that this remains a maneuver to divide us, to try to attack our determination”, declared a striking journalist, wishing to remain anonymous. This same striker “does not think” that the direction of the JDD will succeed in dividing the opponents of the arrival of Geoffroy Lejeune with this strategy.
Arnaud Lagardère, boss of the group that owns the JDD, “deplores” Monday “this outcome” – the breakdown of negotiations, attributed to the SDJ – in the same press release. “I repeat, we will not make the JDD an ideological tract or a militant newspaper,” he assures us. “This far-right fantasy is unfounded and contemptuous. The JDD will remain a general information publication, open to the general public and open to all currents of thought,” he concludes.
For its part, the editorial staff of the Sunday weekly had underlined its “flawless mobilization” in the face of a “total break with the identity of a 75-year-old newspaper”, Saturday at the start of the afternoon, at the time of the renewal of the strike until Tuesday. The editorial staff reiterated its demands, remaining opposed to the arrival of Geoffroy Lejeune and demanding guarantees of legal and editorial independence.
Support for Éric Zemmour in the presidential election, Geoffroy Lejeune, 34, is to succeed Jérôme Béglé, expected on August 1 at the head of Paris Match. He has not yet been able to meet the editorial staff, or see how it works.
Many observers see in his appointment the hand of billionaire Vincent Bolloré, whose Vivendi group must swallow Lagardère, owner of JDD, Paris Match and Europe 1, after a successful takeover bid.
The current movement is unprecedented in the history of the JDD: its previous strike, in 2016, had affected only one Sunday. It has now been five weekends since the newspaper appeared.
The situation of the JDD thus recalls the strikes of Europe 1 in 2021 and of iTélé (become CNews, property of Vivendi) in 2016, concluded each time by massive departures. Enough to put the question of the independence of the media back on the political agenda.
Deputies from eight political groups (excluding RN and LR) notably presented a bill on the subject on Wednesday, while the Elysée formalized the launch in September of the Estates General of Information, expected for a year.
The cost of the strike is already heavy for the JDD: each non-publication of the newspaper would lead to 500,000 euros in losses, according to a figure revealed by the daily Le Monde and mentioned by “a member of the advertising department at the very beginning of mobilization”, said Friday the journalist of the JDD, Guillaume Caire.
In a press release, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recalled on Monday that the JDD strike was “one of the longest” in the history of the French media since 1975. “This record duration is commensurate with the attack on the values of journalism. I salute the determination and courage of the JDD journalists who refuse to be eaten alive,” said Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of RSF.