“How can everyone be better informed? » From June 27 to September 30, 113,000 French people took part in this citizens’ consultation, launched as part of De facto, a European project to fight disinformation that brings together researchers, journalists and media education stakeholders. Of the 2,023 proposals submitted with 526,000 votes, media and information literacy received the most votes.
That “Critical Reading of Information” is for everyone, and critical sense” must be sharpened from an early age. Using this logic, they propose, for example, strengthening the media and information skills that have been developed since 2013 “a time slot in the timetable of CP students at the university”.
They also advocate training for all target groups “Techniques for verifying information and detecting fake news”, explain in particular the role of algorithms in social networks.
Awareness of a “democratic necessity”
The partner media (AFP, 20 minutes, franceinfo, France Bleu, the regional dailies of the Ebra group) support more effective regulation of social media, for example by making them legally responsible for the content broadcast, closing fake accounts or sanctioning the senders of fake news (infox) . They are more divided when it comes to banning access to social networks for minors or transparency about the identity of online commentators.
Three years after the questioning of the French “How can media improve society? » (In a relationship with the cross), Alex Dauchez, director of citizen advisory platform Make.org, notes a feeling “danger, helplessness” before the “Predominance of fake news and its toxic content”.
“Being well informed was a concern in 2019, it has become a democratic imperativehe emphasizes during a round table at the Festival Medias en Seine. All actors are challenged: schools, journalists and citizens in their behavior. A kind of sacred union is required on this issue, which has become a priority for society. »
“Extreme demands on journalists”
The proposals to develop journalistic practices receive fewer votes but are the most numerous. The people interviewed would like more fact checks, more diversified and well-founded information, more specialist knowledge, less publicity or better protection for journalists and whistleblowers.
“There is an extreme Requirements for information and journalists”notes the media sociologist Sylvain Parasie. “We are moving away from a passive and critical attitude towards information. People want to be more active, they want to be taught to doubt and to find out where the real facts lie.”adds Christine Buhagiar, European Director of Agence France-Presse.
“In a world that has become horizontal, the media have remained vertical for too long. We need to open our doors and reconnect with the public.” adds Célia Mériguet, digital director of francetvinfo.fr.
Proposals for the States-General of the Right to Information
Proposals were also made to ensure editorial control of the media, to make their funding more transparent and to combat concentration, but also to promote access to information, especially for the youngest.
“The common thread of the consultation is the fight against what is perceived as a scourge of misinformation”notes Serge Bardet, director of the Center for Media and Information Education (Clemi) on the Canopé network, responsible for this mission within the national education system. “In the face of this kind of moral panic associated with information clutter, there is an expectation and a demand that is being made– to journalists, schools and authorities. » He hopes that the proposals of this citizens’ consultation will nourish the States General of the right to information announced by the Elysée.