Photo signed 'I am still alive' was sent to a news agency purportedly by a man missing since the 2011 murders of his wife and four children.
French news agency AFP wrongly reported that Martin Bouygues had died, prompting much of France's media to follow suit on their websites.
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.