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Political pluralism on television

Which are the rules for the access to the antenna of the political personalities?

The law entrusts to the Superior council of audio-visual the mission of guaranteeing the pluralism of the expression of the currents of thought and opinion in the audio-visual mediums. This pluralism was defined like “intern”, i.e. he wants that balance between the points of view and the opinions is respected by each chain or station (and not “external”, which would be the case if the currents of thought were to be represented each one by at least audio-visual mediums).
 
Apart from the election times, during which is set up a specific device of statement and follow-up of speaking and the antenna times of the political personalities, the Council checks, throughout the year, the application by the audio-visual mediums of the rules which it defined.

In accordance with the law, the speaking times of the political personalities transmitted by the television services and of radio operator to the Council are communicated each month with the presidents of the Senate and the National Assembly and with the persons in charge of the political parties represented at the Parliament. They are also published on this site.
 
The periods of electoral campaign are the object of a very particular vigilance on behalf of the Council. The legislator asks the CSA to address deliberations to the services of audio-visual communication for the duration of the campaigns. The Council goes beyond: it intervenes upstream of the opening of the official campaigns, to specify the conditions of the respect of pluralism which can vary according to the type of poll.  It also adopted, on January 4th, 2011, a deliberation relating to pluralism in election time, whatever the poll. 
  
The modes of enforcement of the principles defined in the deliberations concern the leading responsibility for the diffusers. If the CSA notes manifest imbalances, it can ask the chain, even to put it in residence, to restore balance between the candidates, the lists or the parties political. But the judge of the election is the only one which can truly act on the result of a poll.
 
In addition, the CSA is charged to fix the conditions of programming and production of the emissions of the radiotelevized official campaigns diffused by the public utility (article 16 of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986), when those are envisaged by the electoral code.
 
Article 55 of this same law also entrusts to the CSA the responsibility to lay down the methods according to which a time of intervention is granted, on the antennas of the public utility, with the political formations represented by a group in one or the other of the Assemblies. These emissions, known as “of direct expression”, are also organized for the trade-union organizations and professional representative with the national scale.
 
Let us recall finally that the advertising emissions with political character are prohibited with the radio and on television (article 14 of the law of September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication).

Consult the topic devoted to political pluralism and the electoral campaigns.
 

How are the speaking times of the political personalities for the period of countryside to the primary elections entered?

No legislative text governs in a specific way the treatment by the audio-visual mediums of the primary elections organized prior to electoral campaigns. The mission of the CSA consists in making sure of the respect by the editors of the services of radio and television of the general rules fixed by its deliberation n° 2009-60 of July 21st, 2009 relating to the principle of political pluralism, which it modified and supplemented by the deliberations n° 2016-20 of June 29th, 2016 and n° 2016-22 of July 27th, 2016.

Within this framework, the interventions of the candidates for a primary election are taken into account as well as those of the other political personalities.

The Council nevertheless indicated, in the document of proposals which it made public in September 2015, that it would be attentive so that the pluralist expression of the currents of thought and opinion, required by the articles 1st and 13 of the law n° 86-1067 of September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication, is ensured in the exposure of the various candidatures.

Consult the speaking times of the political personalities raised before the beginning of the electoral campaign

A candidate wishes to establish in his committee room a webcam which will diffuse live images on its website and its accounts Facebook and Twitter. This process is it contrary with the rules of the CSA for the respect of pluralism?

Not, the simple diffusion of a video stream on a website does not answer the definition of a television service. However, the CSA controls only what is diffused by a service of television (or radio): “ Is regarded as television service any department of communication with the public by electronic way intended to be received simultaneously by the whole of the public or a category of public and whose main program is composed of an ordered succession of emissions comprising of the images and the sounds. ” (article 2 of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986).

The deliberation of the CSA of January 4th, 2011, relating to the political principle of pluralism in the services of radio and television in election time, provides thatit does not applyto the services of radio and television having for specific contents the electioneering propaganda of the candidates, the lists of candidates, the parties and groupings political or their supports and exclusively accessible by transportation route to the public online ”.

Why is it impossible to receive televisions and the national radios Friday preceding the polls when does one live overseas?

Televiewers residing in the departments and communities of overseas are astonished that radio stations and of television are inalienable Friday preceding each of the two turns of the municipal elections. A phenomenon which is explained by the period of reserve occurring before each election.

The legislator indeed suspended the time of the electoral debate so that the voters exert their choice without external influence. Subparagraph 2 of the article L 49 of the electoral code prohibits the diffusion by electronic way of any message having the character of electioneering propaganda as from the poll day before at zero hour. During this period, the radio stations and of television can diffuse only reports devoted to the vote of the candidates and personalities which support them, subject to not taking again their remarks. This prohibition is worth at the same time for the departments of communication audio-visual and the departments of communication online (in particular Internet). The emissions available before this date on the websites of the radio stations and television, or via a service of audio-visual mediums to the request, can nevertheless remain accessible to the public.

A problem arises overseas where territories located west of the metropolis (Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique…) saturdays because of the jet lag vote, whereas those located at the east (Réunion, New Caledonia…) Sunday votes. The period of reserve having to start twenty-four hours before the day of the poll, the chains adapt their programming as of Friday so that the territories located west of the metropolis are put away from any electioneering propaganda.

Several possibilities are offered to the chains. They can choose to diffuse on these territories programming adapted so that the electoral debate is suspended and that the voters can make their choice without external influence, therefore to propose emissions without relationship with the election and its candidates. Another solution consists in diffusing two different signals in the East and the West, by modifying the programs as of Friday in the East, while the West can continue to be informed under the same conditions as in metropolis. They can also quite simply cut the signal.

The chains prefer usually this last option because it is complicated technically to send two different signals to the East and the West. While cutting the signal, they apply a kind of mathematical rule by depriving of national plans the voters fewer, that is to say the inhabitants of overseas located east of the metropolis. Thus the televiewers of all the departments and communities of overseas do not receive the chains, except the local channels, the vendredis preceding the two turns by the election.