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Opinion n° 2017-06 of March 15th, 2017 relating to the modification of the specifications of the national companies of program France Televisions, Radio France and of the company in charge of the audio-visual outside of France

Publication date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017


The Superior council of the audio-visual one,

Considering the law n° 86-1067 of the modified September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication, in particular its articles 9 and 48;

The law n° 2016-1524 of November 14th, 2016 aiming at reinforcing freedom, independence and pluralism in the mediums;

Considering the decree of the bearing November 13th, 1987 approval of the books of the missions and loads of the Radio France company and National institute of the audio-visual one;

Considering the decree n° 2009-796 of June 23rd, 2009 fixing the specifications of the national company of program France Televisions;

Considering the decree n° 2012-85 of January 25th, 2012 fixing the specifications of the national company of program in charge of the audio-visual outside of France;

Considering the sasine of the ministry for the culture and communication of the bearing January 2nd, 2017 on a decree project modifying the specifications of the national companies of program France Televisions, Radio France and the company in charge of the audio-visual outside of France;

Considering the rectifying sasine of the ministry for the culture and communication of the bearing February 6th, 2017 on a decree project modifying the specifications of the national companies of program France Televisions, Radio France and the company in charge of the audio-visual outside of France;

Pursuant to articles 9 and 48 of the law n° 86-1067 of September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication, the Council was asked for an opinion, by mails of January 2nd and of February 6th, 2017, by the ministry for the culture and the communication of a bearing decree project modification of the specifications of the national companies of program France Televisions, Radio France and company in charge of the audio-visual outside of France.Ces modifications primarily aim at allowing the installation of the committees relating to honesty, the independence and the pluralism of information and the programs envisaged by the law n°2016-1524 of November 14th, 2016 aiming at reinforcing freedom, independence and pluralism in the mediums.

As regards the installation of the above-mentioned committees, the Council formulated observations within the framework of its opinion n°2017-05 of February 22nd, 2017.

As regards other modifications of the specifications of the various national companies of program envisaged by the decree project, the Council, after having deliberated on March 15th, 2017 on it, gives a matched favorable opinion of the following observations:

Concerning the modifications relating to certain leading lines

  • As regards modifications relating to the missions reserved for certain chains of France Televisions

The Council takes note of the modifications of article 3 of the specifications of France Televisions brought by article 2 of the decree project. They consist in, essentially, clarifying the missions and the leading positioning of France 4 and France Ô. 

France 4 is thus defined as the chain of youth and the family which grants in particular a place privileged to French works of animation. France Ô, as for it, is characterized as the chain of Overseas which proposes programs supporting the division and the knowledge of the identity and the news of the territories ultramarins.

The Council approves the clarification of the missions reserved for France 4 and France Ô which answers the observations that he had formulated during the establishment of the four-year assessment of the results of France Televisions in December 2014. It translates the orientations of the strategic project of the President de France Televisions, taken again in the contract of objectives and means concluded between France Televisions and the State over the period 2016-2020.

The Council estimates however that the drafting of article 2 of the decree project could be specified in order to reinforce even more the specificity of public television.

As regards 1° of article 2 of the decree project, which lays out that France 4 “ contributes to reinforce the link between the generations ”, the Council notes that it is a question of specifying the family orientation of the programming of the chain by supporting the diffusion of programs which can be shared by the children, the young people and their parents. For this reason, the Council estimates that a very light textual modification would make it possible to clarify the reference to public aimed by France 4, “ chain of youth and the family, whose vocation is to address itself to the children, to the young people and to their parents while contributing to reinforce the link between these generations (…) ”.

The Council estimates that France 4, in accordance with its leading new line and on the example of the Gulli chains and 6ter, could be invited to make a commitment by not diffusing programmes of category III (disadvised at least twelve years) nor bands ads of programmes of this category before 10 p.m. starting from 2018. 

The Council thus proposes a modification of the specifications of France Televisions while specifying at the end and the second subparagraph of article 36 relating to the human dignity and the protection of the minors: “ On France 4, diffusions of programs of category III and bands ads of programs concerned with this category cannot intervene that after 10 p.m. starting from 2018. As of before the coming into effect of this provision, France 4 takes care not to diffuse before 22 hours of cinematographic works having been the object of a prohibition to the twelve year old minors ”.

The 1° of article 2 of the decree project lays out in addition that “ the programming [of France 4] supports in particular the awakening, the curiosity and the training of the citizenship by combining educational approach and entertainment ”. The Council estimates that it could be specified that these objectives are translated particularly in the intended programs with the young public. 

Moreover, France 4, following this new leading positioning and in accordance with the missions reserved for France Televisions as regards education with the media, should contribute to support the access to an offer of information bound for the young public.

The Council thus proposes to add to article 15 of the specifications of France Televisions relating to education to the media the following mention: “ France 4 regularly makes a youth offer of information through programming of tv news or magazines ”.

As regards 2° of article 2 of the decree project, this one aims at introducing into the specifications of France Televisions a new provision with the 5°bis relative to France Ô. the drafting suggested does not specify the zone of diffusion of the chain contrary to the network Overseas 1st. For a better definition of the complementarity of the missions of France Ô and chains of the network Overseas 1st, the Council suggests specifying with the last subparagraph of the 2° of article 2 that France Ô is diffused in metropolis and overseas.

  • As regards modifications relating to the missions of France Media World

Article 19 of the decree project proposes to make a modification to article 2 of the specifications of the national company of program in charge of the audio-visual outside of France, bearing on “ the leading identity of the departments of communication audio-visual ”, in order to introduce the next diffusion of France 24 in Spanish.

The Council takes note of the faithful translation in the specifications of a fourth language of diffusion in accordance with the commitments concluded between France Media World and the public authorities in the contract from objectives and means over the period 2016-2020. 

The drafting envisaged by the decree project does not call other observations.

Concerning the modifications relating to the production

Articles 5 and 9 of the decree project modify article 9 of the specifications of France Televisions and introduce new an appendix in order to take into account the agreement concluded between France Televisions and the producers' organization and of distributors on May 24th, 2016.

This agreement relates to the conditions of negotiation of the mandates of marketing and the secondary rights, acquisition by France Televisions of the mandates of marketing when the producer has of a production capacity or a framework agreement with a distributor, and the procedures of the exploitation of the rights of diffusion of work in the event of repurchase at the conclusion of the initial period of the yielded rights of diffusion.

The modification of the specifications proposed allows the implementation of the reform of the decree n° 2010-747 of July 2nd, 2010 occurred in April 2015 and authorizing the taking into account under conditions, within the contribution to the development of the audiovisual production, of expenditure of shares of producer under the support for the “ independent production ”. The appendix introduced with the specifications of France Televisions shows the stipulations of the agreement of May 24th, 2016 engaging France Televisions in its relationship with the producers and the distributors. 

The modifications suggested by the Government, which are in conformity under the decree and of the agreement of May 24th, 2016 signed by France Televisions, do not call particular remarks on behalf of the Council.

Concerning the actualization of the denomination of the companies editors and services

The modifications envisaged in articles 3 and 4 and articles 12 to 17 of the decree project do not call observations on behalf of the Council.

  • Concerning the diffusion of RFI

As regards the diffusion of RFI, the Council is pleased that the decree project takes account of the diffusion of RFI on two frequencies of the FM band in Guyana.

The decree project extends the possibility of a diffusion in FM to the whole of the territory of the Republic whereas this one until now was very limited. Because of the saturation of the FM band, recalled in the contract of objectives and means of the national company of program, the release of new frequencies in this band, in particular in the big cities, is increasingly difficult: the extension of the FM cover of RFI does not appear assured. It is advisable thus to retain the possibilities that offer the terrestrial digital radio, in particular in metropolis, as the contract of objectives and means envisages it, to extend the cover of RFI. 

Lastly, the Council stresses that the decree project does not take into account the whole of the French frequencies exploited by RFI or on which RFI is authorized:

  • the frequency 11.72748 GHz for sound broadcasting by satellite (decision No 89-51 of the modified April 20th, 1989);
  • seasonal schedules in the range of the short waves, which are assigned to the Council by the national table of distribution of the wavebands and who allow to serve mainly foreign countries but also a priori part of the territory of the Republic.

The diffusion of RFI in short waves could be explicitly envisaged while inserting a new subparagraph after the third subparagraph of article 7 of the specifications:

« As regards frequencies within the competence of France which would possibly allow the diffusion of service RFI abroad and on part of the territory of the Republic, this service is diffused in French language and foreign languages by application of article 26 of the law of the above mentioned September 30th, 1986 when these frequencies are assigned to the Superior council of audio-visual and by taking account of specificities of these frequencies, in terms of characteristics of propagation, management and international coordination. »

Concerning the proposals complementary to the Superior council of the audio-visual one

  • As regards insufficiencies of the specifications as regards women's rights and of diversity

Concerning diversity, the Council estimates that article 37 of the current specifications of France Televisions as well as article 23 of that of France Media World should be specified and explicitly mention the concept of fight against discriminations and the stereotypes, on the example of the existing mention in the specifications of the missions and of Radio France. Thus, the following sentence could be added after the subtitle “the fight against discriminations and the representation of diversity to the antenna”:

« The company takes part in the actions in favour of social cohesion and the fight against discriminations and the stereotypes. For this reason, it is in particular committed conducting an annual campaign of promotion of diversity. »

In addition, it is proposed to add to current article 5-1 of the specifications of Radio France the following mentions: at the end of the first sentence of the article: “ […] and stereotypes. For this reason, it is in particular committed conducting an annual campaign of promotion of diversity. ” and at the end of the article: “ Within the framework of the recommendations of the Superior council of audio-visual, the company implements the actions allowing to improve the representation of diversity of the French company. ” so that the recommendations taken on the matter by the Council are directly applicable for him.

Concerning the women's right, the Council estimates that the specifications of France Televisions, Radio France and France Media World could be supplemented, so in particular that the recommendations of the Council on the matter are registered there. Thus, the following article, relating to the representation of the women, could be integrated in their respective specifications: 

« Within the framework of the recommendations of the Superior council of audio-visual, the company implements actions allowing to improve the representation of the women, to reach the parity, and to take care of their image, while fighting in particular against the stereotypes, the prejudices sexists, the degrading images, the violences made to the women and the violences made within the couples. It also carries special efforts on the right representation of expert women the “ ».

Lastly, in the respect of its contract of objectives and means, the company takes care to fill its objectives concerning the equality between the women and the men. »

As regards France Televisions, mention “ which will have to reach the parity in 2020. ” could also be added at the end of the first paragraph.

As regards Radio France, the last part of the article could moreover be written as follows: “ […] Lastly, the company takes care to fill its objectives concerning the equality between the women and the men fixed if necessary in his contract of objectives and means. »

Lastly, articles 5 for Radio France and 21 for France Media World could be modified with the margin with the suppression of the mention: “ equality enters the women and the men ”, the latter being taken again in the article lately created.

  • As regards insufficiencies of the specifications of Radio France as regards respect of the rights and freedoms

The Council estimates that the specifications of Radio France would gain with being supplemented. He considers indeed that this one presents insufficiencies as regards respect of the rights and freedoms and considers it regrettable that the decree project does not provide to cure these gaps, that he however underlined in his previous opinions.

It could be proposed with the Government to supplement the decree project in order to reinforce the provisions of article 4 of the specifications of Radio France as regards respect of the rights and freedoms, while beginning again and while adapting, if necessary, the provisions of the specifications of France applicable Televisions on the matter.

Consequently, article 4 of the specifications of Radio France could be supplemented as follows:

« In the respect of the principle of and recommendation equal treatment of the Superior council of audio-visual, Radio France ensures honesty, the transparency, the independence and the pluralism of information as well as the pluralist expression of the currents of thought and opinion.

She does not resort to processes likely to harm the good comprehension of the listeners. The questions lending to controversy must be presented in an honest way and the expression from the various points of view must be assured.

The recourse to the processes making it possible to collect sounds unbeknownst to recorded people must be limited to the needs for the information of the public. It must be restricted with the cases where it makes it possible to obtain information difficult to obtain differently. The recourse to these processes must be made available of the public. The people should not be able to be identified, except exception or if the assent of the people were collected prior to the diffusion of the emission.

In the data transmission, the company avoids resorting to technological processes allowing to modify the direction and the contents of the sounds or the remarks. In the other emissions, the public is informed use of these processes when their use can lend to confusion.

The company shows rigour in the presentation and the information processing. It checks the cogency and the sources of information. Dubious information is presented to the conditional one. It takes care of the adequacy between the context in which sounds were collected and the subject that they come to illustrate. Any use of archives is announced with the antenna. If necessary, mention is made origin of the archives. The sounds or remarks produced for a reconstitution or a scenarisation of actual facts, or supposed such, must be presented like such to the listeners. Subject to the caricature or pastiche, when is carried out to an assembly of sounds, this one cannot deform the initial direction of the remarks collected nor to deceive the listener.

In the respect of the right to information, the diffusion of emissions, sounds, matter or documents concerning with legal procedures or facts likely to cause legal information requires that a special attention is given on the one hand to the respect of the presumption of innocence, i.e. a not yet judged person is not introduced like culprit, on the other hand with the secrecy of the private life and finally with the anonymity of the minors. The company takes care, in the presentation of the legal decisions, so that the jurisdictional decisions under conditions are not commented on likely to attack the authority of justice or to its independence.

When a legal procedure in progress is evoked with the antenna, the company must take care, in the total treatment of the business, so that:

  • the business is treated with measurement, rigour and honesty;
  • the treatment of the business does not constitute an obstacle with this procedure;
  • pluralism is ensured by the presentation of the various involved theses, by taking care in particular that the parts in question or their representatives are put able to make known their point of view. 

“The company takes care in its programs not to incite with practices or behaviors dangerous, delinquent or unpatriotique. »

The company preserves in all circumstances the control of its antenna in accordance with its device of internal control ».

Article 5 of the specifications of Radio France could be supplemented by these provisions:

« The company respects the rights of the person relative to her private life, its image, its honor and its reputation such as they are defined by the law and jurisprudence.

The company takes care in particular:

- so that he is shown reserve in the diffusion of sounds, of matter or testimonies likely to humiliate the people;

- to avoid kindness in the evocation of the human suffering, like any treatment degrading or lowering the individual with the row of object:

- so that the testimony of people on facts concerned with their private life is collected only with their enlightened assent.

She shows measurement when she disseminates information concerning a victim or a person in situation of danger or distress ».

  • As regards insufficiencies of the specifications of France Televisions as regards cultural offer 

The place of the culture and in particular that of the live performances on the antennas of public television is a strong marker of the differentiation of the leading offer of France Televisions compared to the programming of the private editors.

Although France Televisions respects its specifications, the Council very often regretted the weak exposure granted to certain kinds of programs cultural, in particular to the musical productions and theatrical. However, the televised retransmission of artistic representations contributes to the democratisation of the culture. Public television has in this direction strong responsibility and a significant role because it must aspire to reduce the difficulties of access to the culture and the leisures by reducing the social inequalities and territorial.

Article 6 of the specifications of France Televisions specifies the minimum number lyric, choreographic and dramatic shows in front of being diffused. This minimum number is supplied with a system of weighting “ at points ” incentive with the diffusion of shows initially in first part of evening and in the second place in day, in order to prevent that this obligation is carried out only with late schedules.

As it analyzed in detail at the time of the publication of his bearing report on the execution of the specifications of France Televisions to the title of the year 2015, and previously in July 2014 in a study relating to the cultural offer of the public group, the Council considers that the device of article 6 does not answer the set objective any more. In 2015, the retransmissions of shows and concerts indeed were widely diffused between midnight and six hours of the morning (88% of the offer of show France Ô; 87% of that of France 2; 86% of the offer of France 3 and finally 77% of the shows and the concerts of France 4 were diffused in this time slot). Thus, the inciting system “at points” prevented not the majority of the must carry of shows to be realized with late schedules.

The Council admits however that the perimeter and the definition of the eligible shows under this obligation constitute a high requirement for France Televisions, since only a restricted number shows is retained. They are primarily shows of theatre, opera or ballet dancing or contemporary products in public and completely broadcast. 

For as much, the Council considers that it is advisable to make evolve the device of the “ points shows ” appearing in the specifications in order to make it more effective.

The Council invites the public authorities to modify article 6 in order to reinforce its efficiency. It thus wishes that this obligation be supplemented and is modified so that its translation in terms of programming fulfills the expected requirement of the entrusted missions on television public.

The Council proposes that article 6 is supplemented as follows:

« Thanks to the programmings distributed in a way balanced between France 2, France 3, France 4 and France Ô, France Televisions make known the various forms of the theatrical, lyric or choreographic expression and give an account of their news. The theatre live is the object of regular retransmissions on the national services of the company.

Diffuse France Televisions of the shows lyric, choreographic, dramatic, in the concerts and recitals of classical music as well as emissions, one 30 minutes minimal unit duration, which present extracts of such shows and replace works in their historical context and their dramatic continuity. France Televisions takes care that this programming treats in an equitable way these various kinds. These shows are:

  • products by the theatres, festivals and organizations of cultural activity;
  • especially created or recreated for television and interpreters by professional artists;
  • or presented within the framework of exceptional demonstrations, such as concerts or shows events, and interpreters by professional artists.

Within the shows enumerated above, France Televisions attempts to develop the concerts given by the National orchestra of France, the Philharmonic orchestra of Radio France like those of the Chorus and the Control of Radio France.

The board of directors of the company fixes an annual obligation of diffusion of these shows and emissions by using the following method:

  • when the diffusion takes place in first part of evening, the afternoon of Saturday, of Sunday, the days of school holidays and bank holidays, it is developed at three points;
  • when it begins between 10 a.m. and 22:45 and is not which may undergo beneficiation at three points, it is developed at two points;
  • for the other days and schedules, the diffusion is developed at a point.

The annual obligation of diffusion of the company cannot be lower than 150 points, of which at least 50% must be realized by shows and emissions developed to 2 or 3 points ».

  • As regards control of the respect of the obligations of the specifications of Radio France

The specifications of Radio France provide that the annual statement of account of the company must be addressed to the minister in charge for the communication and to the Superior council of audio-visual on June 30th. The Council would wish that the reports of execution of the specifications of the missions and for the next years reach him within a time closer to the end of the exercise considered. He thus proposes that the date of transmission is aligned on that of the other national companies of program, on April 30th and either on June 30th.

 

These opinion will be published in the Journal officiel de la République française.

Fact in Paris, on March 15th, 2017

For the Superior council of the audio-visual one:
The President,
Olivier SCHRAMECK