The O.R.T.F. is on strike
The journalists of the radio and television explain it to you:
More than 12,000 technicians, workers, employees, journalists, filmmakers and presenters have stopped work. They want to serve the 30 million listeners and viewers and not partisan propaganda. The O.R.T.F. must be a true reflection of France and the French, what they do, think, like and desire. This is also what was provided for by the Act of 27 June 1964 on the status of the ORTF which assigned to the Office of French Radio and Television, “objectivity and accuracy of information, giving the ability for large currents of opinion to express themselves through it.”
The journalists of the radio and television, intend to practise our profession freely. We have always sought to do so. But the pressures of the government and the management of the ORTF, chosen by that government, are depriving you of some of the information we gathered for you.
A serious crisis has broken out in the country. Aware of our obligations to you, we have done everything to keep you informed until the day we were totally prevented.. We then refused to provide a truncated newscast and together we protested by stopping work.
Today the problem is posed. The O.R.T.F. must be independent from any government or any party. It is not yet so:
— its board of directors is appointed by the government,
— As its CEO,
— the heads of radio and television are, in fact, appointed in the same manner.
The O.R.T.F. remains the government’s own
The government can:
— cancel a show like “The camera explores time” against the will of viewers,
— sack journalists respected by the public
— censor broadcasts like the sequence in “Panorama” on the student movements,
— in place of commentary made in the world of the workers, peasants or the university, substitute official statements on the same subject …
— divert attention from the French internal situation, to the problems of other countries …
— give the airtime to the majority, refusing it to the opposition and even to public opinion.
This will continue as long as the O.R.T.F. is submitted to the government. This will be so regardless of which government [is in power].
To change this, to ensure the French full and impartial information, the staff of the O.R.T.F propose a statute that provides for:
— the appointment of the management of the Office by representatives of all the forces of the Nation,
— the possibility for all groups: political, union, economic, philosophical or religious to appeal to a council of arbitration in the case of a breach of objectivity.
This statute is realistic : lawyers have studied it, and political groups, trade unions, cultural associations have given it their support. There will be a bill, the Members of Parliament elected by you will be asked to vote on it.
So demand of your candidates, of your associations, of your unions, that they take a stand. This battle concerns you all. The strikers of the O.R.T.F. are fighting for you, they need you.