The two French journalists who were kidnapped on Saturday 2 November in Kidal in north-eastern Mali were found murdered. Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont, two Radio France Internationale special envoys in Mali, were reporting from the town when they were abducted by armed men. They were simply doing their job.
Aside from the geopolitical analyses that many media and commentators have made, the question of why remains. Why kill journalists in cold blood? For the sake of example? To give the watchword: no information here? If we can no longer send reporters, photographers, journalists to the four corners of the world, in the name of the "right to know", what will the information be?
Claude Verlon, 58, a news technician at RFI since 1982, "was a seasoned field man, used to working on difficult terrain all over the world.
Ghislaine Dupont, 51, played a leading role in the launch of Radio Okapiin the DRC. She was the editor-in-chief at the very beginning of this radio station created by Fondation Hirondelle in 2002 (Media for peace and Human dignity) and has since become the leader in the DRC, the organization's main reference in the field of information and radio in conflict zones.
This public service radio station has adopted the criteria laid down by UNESCO to define public service: universality, diversity, independence (especially from political and economic powers), while embodying and defending human values (otherness, dignity, openness to the world).
Radio Okapi pays tribute to Ghislaine, voices of solidarity tinged with emotion and humanity join together, from Congo, to denounce the unacceptable, the pain of families, from RFI.
Up' Magazine, in its quest for innovative initiatives, presented in September the project of Fondation Hirondelle aimed at developing, by relying on existing networks, a new offer of radio programmes, in the form of information and debates of a national nature, in five languages, to reach the entire population of Mali. The media project proposed by the Foundation is to offer an original and adapted contribution to meet the challenges of national reconciliation and the return of peace in the country: Tamani Studio. Like Radio Okapi created by Ghislaine Dupont, this initiative gives the utmost importance to the credibility of its media, through rigorous and factual journalism.
The future of the journalist
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Technology, digital, internet, are only vectors of information. Not a film on YouTube, nor a smartphone can replace the search, selection, analysis, expertise and knowledge, the putting into perspective of information. Bringing History to life and revealing it. Camus said "if it is true that newspapers are the voice of a nation, we were determined, in our place and for our small part [in the newspaper Combat], to elevate this country by raising its language".
Today, the number of news broadcasters has exploded, but so has their type. Blogs and social networks, Twitter and Youtube are constantly increasing and diversifying the ways in which information is accessed and circulated. However, it is clear that from paper to digital media, the role of the journalist does not change: "to seek, find, reveal, sort, prioritize, transmit information, facts and realities useful for understanding the world, for the reflection that it provokes and for the discussion that it calls for" (Edwy Plenel). It is only in this way and thanks to him that information circulates.
If we kill the reporter, we kill the information.