AFP staff pass no-confidence motion in boss
9 September 2011
NUJ members at French press agency AFP were this week among nearly 800 staff to back a no-confidence vote against boss Emanuelle Hoog.
They accuse Emanuelle Hoog of continually riding rough-shod over staff views in his bid to reform the agency's founding statutes, which date back to 1957 and guarantee editorial independence.
Nearly six out of ten AFP staff eligible to take part in the vote did so and 88% voted to censure Emanuelle Hoog.
French unions called for the vote after it emerged that Hoog's services have been in touch Media9 – a PR firm with links to the French government – raising concerns that the AFP boss is trying to "sell" his reform plans to the French Parliament ahead of a possible vote on the issue.
The NUJ chapel at AFP gave its full support to the call and our members at AFP share the concerns of our French colleagues that Hoog's reform plans could undermine the editorial independence of one of the world's most respected news providers.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, added her support to the no-confidence motion. She said:
"AFP has a world-wide reputation for top quality, objective, serious reporting and that's thanks to professionalism and dedication of its journalists. It seems absolutely insane that these same journalists are not being allowed to play any serious role in key talks about the agency's future. We fully support the action of our French trade union colleagues and the members of our chapel."
The Media9 revelation is the latest in a long line of examples of Hoog riding rough shod over staff opinions in his bid to reform AFP's founding statutes.
For more information, see the SOS AFP website.