strike ends journalists end strike at french paper
On the day a contentious editor associated with the far right assumed his position as editor-in-chief, journalists at France’s sole Sunday newspaper ended the nation’s longest media strike in decades.
The journalists announced on Tuesday that they were ending the strike.
Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) employees announced on Tuesday that they were giving up, knowing that their decision would force them to either leave the newspaper or work under its new management.
The influential weekly has missed six in a row due to a strike that has been ongoing since June 22 over the appointment of Geoffroy Lejeune, 34, as editor-in-chief.
The media division of the French conglomerate Lagardère Group, the paper’s owners, and the SDJ journalists association reportedly reached an agreement to end the strike.
Staff would not have prevailed in a protracted standoff with Lagardère, it was acknowledged.
Lejeune supported the far-right media commentator Éric Zemmour during his run for president last year. He was, until recently, editor of the far-right weekly Valeurs Actuelles.
Geoffroy Lejeune is starting in his position today. He will enter a vacant newsroom. According to the association, dozens of journalists are refusing to work with him and are being forced to quit the JDD. We will face a difficult choice in the coming hours: to stay or to leave, it continued.
The 40-day strike, according to the Paris-based press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), was the longest in French media since a 28-month strike by employees of the daily Le Parisien that started in 1975.
Lagardère stated in a statement that the JDD’s website would reopen on Tuesday and that the publication of the JDD’s print edition would begin in the middle of the month. It was also said that the agreement calls for the creation of measures to help journalists who want to leave the editorial staff.
In the wake of a successful attempt to take over the company, conservative billionaire Vincent Bolloré is currently in the process of purchasing Lagardère, the company that owns Paris Match magazine as well as Europe 1 radio.
Conservative Catholic Bolloré, who hails from northwest France, has been gradually enlarging his empire to include TV networks and, most recently, print media.
The JDD, which has weekly sales of about 140,000, has recently adhered to a centrist stance and has been perceived as generally supportive of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration.