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Assessment 2011 of the working group “Deontology of the audio-visual contents”

Publication date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Control by the Superior council of audio-visual of the respect of the deontology of the programs is part of the missions that entrusted to him the legislator in order to take care that the freedom of the communication given in the article 1st of the law of September 30th, 1986 on the freedom of audio-visual communication is reconciled with certain requirements, in particular the compliance with the ethical rules. To guarantee this balance, the Council rests on the articles 1st, 3-1 and 15 of the law of September 30th, 1986 [1], on the regulation which he sets up through a corpus of deliberations and on the commitments that each chain takes near him by the means of its convention, or which is defined by the State in the specifications of the audio-visual groups of public service.

The Council entrusted to the working group “Deontology audio-visual contents”, of which MM Rachid Arhab and Patrice Gélinet, members of the Council, are respectively President and Vice-president, the care to control the good application of these rules in the programs diffused on the television services and of radio, like on the services of audio-visual mediums to request (SMAD). 

In 2011, the activity of the working group appeared stable compared to that of 2010. During 24 meetings carried out in the year, it carried out 10 hearings of persons in charge of chains, an association and a trade union, and carried out the file examination 112 (either 2 files moreover than in 2010). The sasines addressed to the Council by televiewers and listeners are at the origin of the majority of the files, but it also happens that the Council takes the initiative when he notes a failure of a chain to his ethical obligations.

After a technical examination (watching of the sequences or listenings of the litigious soundtracks) followed by a legal analysis, the working group determines a proposal which he submits to the Council at his meetings in plenary assembly. Anxious to preserve the leading freedom of the chains, this one decides continuations to give to each file, by taking care that its interventions are proportioned with the noted failures.

In 2011, in 50% of the cases, the files examined by the working group led to an intervention of the Council (against 33% in 2010). It thus intervened with 52 recoveries near the chains, most of the time (40 interventions) by addressing a mail pointing out their obligations to them or warning them to take care to respect them.

When it noted more serious failures, the Council made proportioned decisions: he thus initiated 2 procedures of sanction and sent 7 formal notices, of which 2 caused an equitable relief that he decided to reject.

Lastly, face the fast and important mediatization of a business being able to cause certain skids, the Council decided to publish a press release in order to recall to the whole of the chains a particular aspect of the regulation.

In 2011, the interventions of the Council as regards deontology mainly related to three major axes: requirements of honesty and rigour (I), safeguard of the public order (II) and the respect of the rights of the person (III).

The Council was also brought to intervene on several occasions and in a way graduated near chains which had not ensured the control of their antenna. The editor being responsible in front of the Council for the contents diffused on its antenna, it is about a sine qua non indispensable condition of the compliance with the rules of deontology, particularly in the live emissions, and which is registered in conventions and the specifications of the chains. Often correlated, by definition, with other failures, the non-observance of this obligation in particular led the Council to engage, on December 20th, 2011, a procedure of sanction against the station Here and Maintaining to have diffused remarks in racist matter without any call to order nor no contradiction [2].

[1] Articles in particular posing the requirements of respect of the freedom and human dignity of others as of the safeguard of the public order (article 1st), the fight against discriminations (article 3) and the prohibition of the incentive to hatred or the violence for reasons of race, of sex, manners, of religion or nationality (article 15).
[2] Indeed, on October 27th, 2011, the presenter of an emission entitled Genocide by substitution and devoted to the consequences of globalization on the European civilisation was due to the antenna of the remarks in racist matter, letting in addition the listeners be expressed freely without seeking to moderate their remarks.

To find the complete assessment below, a quantified presentation and the recall of the bases of the action of the Council as regards deontology.

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