Chirac moves to improve ethnic diversity in media

23rd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 22 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday announced legal steps to ensure a better representation of ethnic minorities in the French media, following talks with the country's top television executives.

PARIS, Nov 22 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday announced legal steps to ensure a better representation of ethnic minorities in the French media, following talks with the country's top television executives.

Chirac said the legal statutes of the official French media watchdog, the CSA, or Higher Audiovisual Council, would be changed to give it the powers to root out discrimination in the media.

He said it was vital for television, which was "particularly emblematic" of French society, to be representative of the overall population.

The French president has pledged to stamp out the discrimination facing many in France's Arab and black communities following three weeks of rioting in high-immigrant suburbs by youths facing poverty and a lack of prospects.

Chirac called for "a mobilisation of French public opinion to truly say no to discriminations", saying that an "immense effort" was needed to combat discrimination at all levels of French society.

"This is a national necessity that should apply to all, and in particular to the state, to the public sector, to politicians -- notably at the time of legislative, municipal and regional elections," he said.

North and west African immigrants to France and their children are noticeably under-represented in such areas as politics, the media, the police and the magistrature -- something Chirac has vowed to reverse.

According to a CSA poll published in Le Parisien newspaper on Tuesday, 79 percent of French people approve of the plans for more representation of minorities in the media.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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