Jean-François Achilli, journalist, presenter on franceinfo and editorialist responds with Emmanuelle Daviet, the mediator of the antennas of Radio France, to the questions of listeners and Internet users on the much-watched program on franceinfo “Informés”.
Emmanuelle Daviet: Can you remind us of the principle of this program, when you are a continuous news channel?
Jean-Francois Achill: The I principleinformed is to take a little step back from the news, we take an hour to develop three or four major subjects maximum, while respecting, I insist on this, this essential mechanism, that of continuous information which is the brand of franceinfo.
Let’s come to questions from the listeners. We start with the guests.
“It is surely very difficult for you to have a balanced set of relevant speakers and different political or philosophical sides every evening, writes a listener, but it is your mission. Some nights you wonder why such a debater is present.”
How are the speakers chosen?
First of all, you have to understand one thing, which is that out of the four people on set, you have two press partners every evening. That is to say, for Monday for example, we are partners of the Parisian-Today in France and of Release. And every day, there are two other different press media which therefore send us their own journalists. So, for my part, I select two other speakers. Who are they ?
We are looking for guests who adapt to the news of the day. Be careful too, I add one thing, and this has been the case for many years, try to respect parity on the set: two men, two women as far as possible. So that’s a pretty complex cocktail of settings, so yeah, I hear the critics, I hear a lot of mixed messages as well.
Let me explain: some listeners who explain to us: “why are you macronists” and the same day, you have some who write to you saying: “it’s a scandal, you’re too pro-Nupes” Where “you are too conciliatory with the National Rally”. I hear everything and its opposite every day, there are many listeners, sorry to be critical, who would like to see selected a certain type of guest who would be closer to their political allegiance. That’s just impossible.
How does the arbitration work to choose the subjects dealt with each evening? Who’s deciding ?
There are two decision-making channels: first, it’s simply the news. We are on a continuous news channel and we will largely cover the major topics of the day. There are also days when the news shakes us up. I have the dramatic memory of the assassination of Professor Samuel Paty. We changed everything that evening, there was only this one subject treated. There is also another channel of decision: it is your own servant. I am a journalist and responsible for this program, and I make my own choices. I try to see what may also concern choices that impact the daily life of French people, so there are two possible channels: and the news of the day and my own choices.
We end with this remark from a listener : “Only positive for this high quality program but, “the news wire” is too frequent, the program is cut 4 or 5 times by the news wire, it’s excessive.” This listener tackles the question of the mechanics of the antenna.
Less “info thread” so as not to break the rhythm of the Informed debate, that seems possible to you ?
I hear this criticism. I understand it because it is true that it is a debate program and some listeners would like to be in the only debate and not be “disturbed” by a reminder of the info every ten minutes. But it is also the DNA of franceinfo, these “info threads” and over the channel’s average viewing time, it is true that some join us at Informed and they also need to know what is happening in the world.
So it’s up to me skillfully to try not to section off the debate too much, to wait for the time to recall the information that can also feed the debate. Let me explain: when major information falls during an “info thread”, I am able to get my guests to react to what has just happened. So there is also a form of complementarity that takes place. I hear the frustrations, but it is also a useful service which is, I remind you, the DNA of the channel.