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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/la-presse-al...

by Caroline Constant

Is there any future for the alternative press?

Translated Monday 1 June 2015, by Anne Sanders

Is there still a place for alternative information?

Journalists and politicians will debate this on Sunday, at the European Forum for Alternatives

Last December, Charlie Hebdo had its back against the wall, in the face of almost universal indifference. Yet the director, Charb, was constantly warning the media of the critical state of their finances. It needed the horrible carnage of 7th January for the state to raise funds for the satirical weekly. And since then? Nothing. While all the press – from the alternative to the wide-circulation newspapers — is suffering, if not dying, in slow agony, the authorities are spouting words such as “freedom of expression” – and looking the other way.

At the initiative of l’Humanité, on Sunday, at the European Forum for Alternatives, there will be a debate, in partnership with Acrimed and Politis, on “Dominant media, alternative media: winning the information battle”, from 9-11.30 am at the BSA,11-15, rue Courat, Paris 20th. Participants are Patrick Apel-Muller (l’Humanité), Christophe Kantcheff (Politis), Henri Maler (Acrimed), Vaggelis Papadimitriou, trade unionist at the ERT (Greece), Curzio Maletese, Italian MEP and journalist at la Repubblica, Enrique Flores, Spanish cartoonist, and Ulrike Herrmann, journalist at the German daily newspaper Tageszeitung.

At this very moment, a number of newspapers are under threat due to lack of funds: l’Humanité, of course, but also Politis, Témoignage chrétien and le Monde diplomatique. In Italy, the historic l’Unita disappeared overnight on 31 July last year. These titles represent a real alternative to the great juggernaut of the dominant media: dominant media which are being eyed up and sized up by the great industrialists, from Dassault to LVMH. Their aim? To take control of information. “Disconcerting”, as Patrick Apel-Muller wrote in La Revue du projet in February 2015. We need to take urgent action.

The project, organised by the Party for the European Left, is on a large scale. More than 200 participants, some French, but above all European, will be in Paris this Saturday and Sunday, for the debate. And it will not be about criticising existing politics, but about saying what sort of politics is wanted. The European Forum for alternatives, which will take place in the Place de la République, but also in other parts of the capital, will take the form of three plenaries on austerity, finance and Greece, and dozens of workshops covering all topics of interest to progressive campaigners: education, racism, the environment, tax evasion, etc
Find the programme here:

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