You are a subscriber
If you are not already a subscriber,
Choose a subscription offer and create your account to read all content on MediapartCreate your account
French news agency Agence France-Presse – nearly always known by its initials AFP - has had a colourful and often troubled 180-year history of being buffeted by French and international politics, financial vagaries and two world wars. Emerging like a phoenix from the ashes of Agence Havas in 1944, the modern version of the agency has had to deal with the conflicting demands of editorial independence and state funding. All this is related in a new book by AFP veteran Xavier Baron, Le Monde en direct. Here, Mediapart's Philippe Riès, himself a former AFP journalist, salutes the book and AFP's survival against the odds. But he also ponders on the lessons that can be learned about press independence from the story of an agency that still relies on government funding for its existence.
Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.