The modest move towards independence for France's state broadcasters

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The power of French presidents to nominate the heads of the country’s state-funded television channels and radio stations is to be removed under new legislation aimed at guaranteeing the independence of France’s publicly-owned broadcast media. But while the new law, expected to be approved by parliament and enacted before the end of the year, does away with the excesses of political interference introduced under the previous presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, it is hardly the clean sweep that the government proclaims. Dan Israel outlines the bill’s proposals and weighs the arguments for and against.  

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A highly controversial law giving French presidents the power to nominate the heads of the country’s state-funded television channels and radio stations, introduced in 2009 under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, is set to be abolished this autumn when a bill of law guaranteeing the independence of the publicly-owned broadcast media is to be put before the Senate.