Skip to Content

Stock photo from Pexels

RN backpedals on decision to ban leftwing journo after outcry

The National Rally's refusal to give accreditation to a journalist from a leftwing rag in France elicited so much anger from the profession that the RN was eventually forced to reconsider its decision.

Published: September 15, 2019, 10:04 am

    The issue of freedom of the press has been a hot topic in recent months in France. In the latest episode, the National Gathering (RN) withdrew – before changing its mind on September 14 – its accreditation to a Libération journalist to cover their summer university in Fréjus (Var).

    According to the journalist in question, Tristan Berteloot, the RN had withdrawn his accreditation because of his article on the mayor of Fréjus, also a member of the executive board of the RN, titled: “David Rachline, the little matter of the big bootlicker”.

    The RN’s press service told AFP in a terse comment to “read the article” to understand why the decision had been taken.

    But, as had already been the case in the second round of the presidential election in 2017, when the RN made a similar decision, the party faced an outcry from the profession, with several journalists hastening to denounce the “serious attack on the freedom of the press” on Twitter.

    “The RN as the FN continues to have a problem with the freedom of the press,” said Paul Quinio, the deputy director of the editorial staff of Libération. Faced with the obvious solidarity of the profession, the press service of the RN finally announced that it would be reconsidering the decision, and would allow Tristan Berteloot to cover their summer university.

    French journalists were quick to defend their colleague, but there was no outcry when La République en marche (LREM) and then the Elysée refused to accredit the journalists of RT France. Such violations of press freedom from the presidential party, from the executive itself, are not less serious.

    The list of examples started two years ago, during the presidential campaign of 2017, when En Marche! accused RT of broadcasting “fake news”, without providing any evidence of these serious allegations.

    A few days later, and despite multiple requests for accreditation that remained unanswered, RT’s journalists were unable to go to candidate Macron’s headquarters to cover the election night of the second round.

    After the election of Emmanuel Macron, the RT France journalists suffered similar refusals, without obtaining a clear explanation justifying this treatment. In May 2018, for example, a RT France journalist was denied access to the Elysée Palace by a gendarme, on the express instructions of the presidency and despite the presentation of his press card. And there seems to be no change of heart on the horizon, after the refusal to let RT journalists cover the electoral evening of European Renaissance HQ on May 26.

    Even if these actions do not outrage media colleagues, they place the executive in a difficult situation. While visiting Russia on September 9, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had quite a hard time explaining the shackles placed on RT France by the government.

    “I think that RT’s journalists work in France in complete freedom, they do not have access to a certain number of places because of a vision of the Audiovisual Council [CSA] which cited certain failings [of RT France] to information,” he said, hiding behind a notice from the French regulatory authority for audio-visual, from June 28, 2018.

    In addition to the fact that the latter concerned only a purely technical error, or that the formal notices of the CSA towards other media have never impacted the work of their journalists, Jean-Yves Le Drian forgot that refusals of accreditation for RT France preceded this notice.

    RT France’s journalists have a press card and, whatever the government says, are journalists who only want to practice their profession, even if colleagues pretend not to notice that.


    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Dutch MPs demand investigation into Ukraine’s role in MH17 crash

    The HagueUkraine will cooperate in an investigation that should answer why Ukrainian airspace was not closed during the downing of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said he received this commitment from Ukrainian President Zelenski.

    An elected RN official challenges a veiled woman

    Julien Odoul, a member of Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) and other elected RN officials created a controversy by asking a woman accompanying the class of her son to remove her veil at a plenary meeting of the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche-Comté, on Friday, October 11.

    Nobel highlights male scientific achievements

    This week, as every year, the Nobel Prize winners were announced. The winners in the categories physics, chemistry and medicine are, as in many years before, exclusively male.

    Marine Le Pen: ‘The State is criminally absent’

    ParisDuring a recent press conference, Marine Le Pen, the leader of National Rally in France, addressed the deadly jihadist attack on the central Police Prefecture in Paris, as well as the effect that mass Islamic immigration is having on public order in France.

    Several French police stations targeted by Islamist chants

    ParisSeveral law enforcement establishments in the Paris region were targeted by Islamist chants in the wake of the Paris knife attacker's rampage at police headquarters. A complaint has been filed.

    Malta Pact on migrant redistribution a flop as landings increase

    RomeItaly's former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini noted the increase in migrants landings and said the new leftist coalition's open port policy should be blamed for recent deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Despite the hype, Extinction Rebellion a non-event in Berlin

    BerlinExtinction Rebellion is planning on shutting down Germany and Europe in order to implement measures against climate change. The actions include blockades - which are seen as "evil" when they keep out migrants, but good when they "save the climate".

    German Interior Minister warns of new migrant wave similar to 2015

    BerlinGerman Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has warned of a major refugee crisis similar to that of 2015 if Germany does not help to control the EU's borders. But The EU's new Commissioners are undaunted.

    How a teenage girl from Sweden became a Soros pawn (part 2)

    As discussed in the first part of this article, all the chatter around Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg is the result of a well-organized PR campaign with financial rather than environmental concerns.

    Case of Paris knife attacker reveals massive vetting failure by police

    ParisAfter the knife attack in the Paris police headquarters on Thursday, anti-terrorism specialists of the prosecutor's office have taken over the investigation. The reason for this is the analysis of the mobile phone of the attacker. More importantly, this rampage appears to be a massive vetting failure by the French police.

    Go to archive