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France 21 September 2004

Working group to suggest changes to laws obstructing investigative journalism

Police detention, searches, indictments - investigative journalists in France increasingly find themselves under constant threat of judicial proceedings in the course of their work. If the laws are not changed, journalists will probably be unable to carry on working with complete freedom and independence.

The legislation regulating the confidentiality of judicial enquiries, presumption of innocence, protection of reputation and confidentiality of journalistic sources is all excessively restrictive for investigative journalists, who need new laws in order to be able to work harmoniously with the authorities.

For this reason, Reporters Without Borders, the French Federation of News Agencies and reporters in the field are forming a working group that will bring together journalists, film directors, TV producers, broadcasters, unions, jurists and judges.

The aim of this working group is to present specific, detailed proposals to the justice ministry as soon as possible that would prevent investigative journalists from being subject to systematic bureaucratic obstruction and judicial proceedings.

The first working meeting will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, 4 October at the Centre d’Accueil de la Presse Etrangère (CAPE), Maison de Radio France, 116 av. du Président Kennedy, 75016 Paris.

Public transport: RER C - Kennedy Radio France Bus 72 Radio France Pont-de-Grenelle Bus 70 Radio France

Anyone who would like to participate in this working group should contact: Reporters Without Borders Europe Desk Phone: +33 1 4483-8465 Fax: +33 1 4523-1151 E-mail:

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