Né en 1959. Journaliste à VSD, à Libération (1986-1994) puis au Monde (1995-2006), où il est rédacteur en chef du service international. Directeur-adjoint de la rédaction de Marianne en 2007, il est l’un des fondateurs de Mediapart en 2008.View his profile in the club
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Les Contamines housing estate in Albertville, in the east of France, where the families of the arrested children live. © (FBt-Mediapart)
On November 2nd 2020 schools around France held a minute's silence in a national tribute to teacher Samuel Paty who was decapitated near his school two weeks earlier. The teacher had shown pupils caricatures of Muhammed as part of a lesson on freedom of speech. Three days after that national tribute four pupils in Albertville near the French Alps were arrested by police for “apologia” for or glorification of terrorism and for making death threats. Mediapart's Francois Bonnet spoke to three of the families who tell a very different story from the official accounts. Their stories suggest that the authorities' actions spiralled out of control, amid some confused statements from the local prosecutor.
Going, going.....Donald Trump at the White House on October 30th 2020. © AFP
Though Joe Biden won a knife-edge victory in the United States presidential election the Democrats suffered heavy defeats in other electoral contests. Mediapart's co-founder François Bonnet argues that despite his defeat the huge voter turnout for Donald Trump serves as a reminder that the extreme populist right can only be beaten by alternative political projects that focus on citizens and concrete actions on the ground. Here he outlines four lessons from the US elections for European countries - and in particular France.
Tatiana Plyushch at her home at Bessèges in the south of France, June 16th 2020. © F.Bt/Mediapart
Were it not for his wife Tatiana, Ukrainian mathematician and Soviet dissident Leonid Plyushch would almost certainly never have survived the special psychiatric hospital were he was locked up in 1973. Thanks to her endless, uncompromising campaigning, aided by strong international support, this Ukrainian intellectual eventually forced the Soviet regime to give way, and Leonid Plyushch and his family were freed into exile in January 1976. Leonid died in 2015 but Tatiana Plyushch still lives in their adopted village in the south of France, where Mediapart's François Bonnet went to meet her.
People in Bordeaux, south-west France, applauding health sector workers from their balconies on May 6th 2020. © AFP/Hans Lucas
The ongoing Coronavirus health crisis facing France is leading to unprecedented political change. Large sections of society are on the march: taking charge of their own professions themselves and setting up numerous support structures and initiatives. And as François Bonnet argues in this op-ed article, this sudden land grab of some very political arenas by new groups has left society's traditional institutions and political forces flat-footed.
A camp for Haitians made homeless by the 2010 quake. © Reuters
This week marked ten years since a devastating earthquake hit the impoverished Caribbean state of Haiti, when up to 300,000 people were killed and 1.5 million others were left homeless. The ensuing reconstruction programme drew billions of dollars in aid, but also led to massive corruption. Mediapart co-founder and former editor François Bonnet, who has regularly reported on the tragedy in Haiti, details the fiasco and argues here why a thorough investigation into the gigantic scams must be led under the auspices of the UN, and those found responsible must be prosecuted. Nothing less can restore confidence in international institutions – beginning with the UN itself.
The feminist march during the Paris demonstartions on January 9th 2020. © Noemie Coissac / Hans Lucas
Emmanuel Macron said it himself: he did not want a “normal presidency”. Nor has it been so: since his election in 2017, the number of serious social conflicts has shown the dangers of the exercise of power when there are no limits, argues Mediapart co-founder François Bonnet. The planned public protests on Saturday January 11th against the presidency's pension reform plans could be a turning point, he says.
Georgette Elgey during an interview with Mediapart in April 2017. © Mediapart
The French historian, writer and former journalist Georgette Elgey died in Paris this week at the age of 90. She is best known for her exhaustive, six-volume history of France’s Fourth Republic, Histoire de la IVe République, a monumental account of the system of government in France between 1946 and 1958, of which the first volume was published in 1965 and the last in 2012. In 2017, Elgey, who was close to many of those who shaped French politics over the past six decades, gave an insightful interview about her work to Mediapart, republished here.
Expert panel member Dr. Alexandra Benachi: “We don’t know what we’re looking for". (File photo). © Reuters
A French health ministry experts' study into reported clusters of babies born with missing or malformed upper limbs in three separate regions of rural France has failed to establish the cause. “We don’t know what we’re looking for,” said one of the panel of experts. The study has caused outrage among families of the malformed infants, born without arms or hands, after it decided one of the clusters did not meet the medical criteria of the term, and ruled out a number of proposed measures to further research into the problem at a national level. Amid speculation that environmental factors, such as pesticides, may have played a role, the experts said there was “currently insufficient” knowledge of the issue to draw a conclusion. François Bonnet reports.
On top of its successful journalistic venture, Mediapart has now come up with its own capitalist invention by placing 100% of its capital in a not-for-profit structure which will ring-fence it and ensure it cannot be bought or sold in the future. The new Fund for a Free Press will also have its own objective in the general interest - to defend the freedom, independence and pluralism of the press. Its four co-founders, François Bonnet, Laurent Mauduit, Edwy Plenel and Marie-Hélène Smiejan-Wanneroy, explain this move to guarantee Mediapart's permanent independence.