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Audio-visual cover of terrorist acts: adoption of the text requested by the Parliament

Official statement of the Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The law of July 21st, 2016 extending the application of the law of April 3rd, 1955 relating to the emergency and bearing state measurements of reinforcement of the fight against terrorism required of the Superior council of audio-visual to work out “ a code of conduct relating to the audio-visual cover of terrorist acts ”.

On October 20th, 2016, the CSA adopted the text, heading “ Precautions relating to the audio-visual cover of terrorist acts ”, which was elaborate after several meetings with the representatives of the audio-visual media and the journalists like with experts, professional organizations, representatives of the victims and the Public prosecutor of Paris.

Beyond the legal framework applicable to the media treatment such events (provisions of the law of September 30th, 1986 and recommendation n° 2013-04 of November 20th, 2013 relating to the treatment of the international conflicts, civil wars and terrorist acts by the services of audio-visual communication), the CSA wished to draw up an inventory of fixtures of the questions raised by the cover of terrorist acts which cannot be treated by imperative and general rules in comparison with the diversity of the situations met, and to formulate orientations to answer it.

These recommendations must make it possible the media as well as possible to reconcile, in the treatment of the terrorist acts, the essential requirement of free information with other requirements of general interest: the good progress of the legal investigations, the safeguarding of the action of the security forces as well as the protection of the victims and their close relations and the respect of the principle of human dignity. A special attention was paid to the representation of the terrorists and the treatment of the messages of propaganda.

The editors from now on are invited to continue their reflection on their practices, while taking into account, if it is not already the case, the recommendations of this document.

Consult the Precautions relating to the audio-visual cover of terrorist acts


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