Ladies and gentlemen,
A year ago, I was alerted by photojournalism professionals about the
their situation. I then showed my great interest in the
photography, and my willingness to “move the lines” in favor of
of a profession, which, if it is not numerous, in my opinion represents a
major challenge for freedom of expression, pluralism, diversity of
opinions and the right to information, a profession that is also an asset
for the editorial vitality of the French press.
The last few months have allowed me to take stock of this profession
complex, at the crossroads of particular interests sometimes contradictory but
all of whom share a common desire to serve an ever-growing public.
The number of visitors to Visa pour l'Image shows this every year
more. I would like to present today the first
conclusions of work undertaken and decisions taken or
are about to be.
Photography is for me a mode of expression in its own right, everything
as the written word, the cinema, the different disciplines of the live show or
architecture... Tool of artistic creation, it is also a mode
expression of the realities and complexity of our time, dimension
that the festival in which we are gathered highlights in particular.
Today, with the Internet and mobile phones, it becomes a tool
of ubiquitous communication.
It has not lost its identity there. Faced with the revolution
digital, as throughout its history, photography adapts
The European Parliament has always supported technical change.
The current crisis that photojournalism seems to be going through is not
new. Gisèle FREUND was already aware of this at the beginning of the years
70... So why are we meeting today and discussing solutions to
bring to this crisis? This is precisely because the history of the
photography, born of a major technological breakthrough, has not stopped
the same technical evolutions. This is why
even nourishes, to become an ever more accessible, ever more
This is why I have confidence in the future of photojournalism.
What is at issue is not photojournalism itself, but
rather the economic, social and technological model in which
professionals. This crisis is more about the profession, the
photojournalists, agencies, publishers, and conditions in
practices. Practices are changing, practices are changing, and
change, but it is important that my department remains vigilant and
support these developments by proposing measures that
preserve a know-how, values, a creative look that participates
the democratic life of our country. This is the reason why
which I intend to propose today to bring
«solutions to the crisis», forty years after Gisèle FREUND’s observation.
In order of priorities, I first wanted to put in order
organization of the Ministry of Culture and
Photography finds the place it deserves.
Conservation and exploitation of photographic holdings, creation of
economic and social conditions favourable to production and
dissemination…. all these dimensions were treated in silos
while the daily reality of photographers required that they be
united under the same roof.
That is why last March I created a Mission of the
photography», so that the professionals concerned have a
to whom to speak within the administration, and that the
issues related to the place of photography in the cultural and
The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection can be treated as a whole.
Within this strengthened framework, this mission follows all topics related to the
photography, in conjunction with other departmental structures, and
particularly with the Media and Industries Branch
cultural issues, including issues specific to
It is important, in this field as in the other sectors of culture,
and communication, that this ministry knows how to open and work, without
«a priori» with all professionals, artists and
photojournalists of course, but also technicians, producers or publishers
the richness and diversity of creation. In connection with the
through the establishment of think tanks, the
mission has already begun a major work and has
“roadmap” for the coming months. Several photojournalists here
associated with this work. This roadmap has been
presented in July in Arles, I do not come back.
Some of these guidelines have, in my mind,
to photojournalism. Whether it is the conservation of
and the valorization of photographic collections, through their digitization and
the organization of deposit opportunities, whether it is the improvement of
support for creation and dissemination. It is important that the
work of photojournalists fully benefits from the recognition of
and that it be as broad as possible.
But I am also aware of the difficulties specific to
Photojournalism: economic and social difficulties related to the
crisis that the press is going through, emergence of new competition
encouraged by digital democratization, an explosion of
also carried by the «amateur» photo. All this causes a deep
destabilization of the balance of a profession, which is already weakened.
That’s why I asked the Ministry’s General Inspection to
to establish an accurate diagnosis of the situation of photojournalism. And I
I would like her to propose to me operational tracks allowing
improvement of the working conditions of the profession. This work was done in
consultation with representatives of the profession: photographers,
organizations, agencies and publishers. Marie
Bertin and Michel Balluteau presented a first assessment of the situation in
last May which was distributed to the various organizations
and trade unions. Complemented by a study of the
of photojournalism, this work has led to a diagnosis that
of any was struggling to establish last year, at that time. A
restitution meeting organized in July around my office, with the
Directorate-General for Media and Cultural Industries
of the photograph» allowed the rapporteurs to amend and complete
their work. This report is now available.
Thus on the basis of the diagnosis and recommendations of the inspection
of the Ministry of Works conducted by the mission of the
photography with the groups she animated in the current
In the spring, the Directorate-General for
contacts we have had with parliamentarians in particular
Jacqueline Irles and Michel Herbillon, of the
work in the Senate, I hope that we can now
develop concrete solutions through open dialogue,
confident and continuous with all partners involved. And so here
what seems to me to be our roadmap for the coming months
and the directions I take.
1. Creation of the “photojournalism” observatory
As I said, the mission was an opportunity to conduct a study
on the photojournalism sector. Produced by the company
ITHAQUE , it is important that this work does not go unanswered. Indicators
concerning the staff and remuneration of photojournalists
be monitored regularly and carefully. A permanent observatory will be
created, with the dual task of ensuring both a follow-up of key
economic and social indicators of the profession, its
health” in a way, but also to bring the profession together to
to consider, in consultation, all the necessary adjustments to the
framework for photojournalism. The “round table” thus constituted
with the State and the representatives of the sector should notably benefit from
the contribution of social organizations, the Commission de la Carte, the
the observatory of press professions.
These data and exchanges are in fact indispensable for
all the partners responsible for conducting the policies relating to
photography: definition of the trades, the expected skills, the
training and qualifications, changes in legal frameworks,
regulatory or contractual...
As is the case in other professional sectors, I hope that
the Photojournalism Observatory may meet once or twice a year
around an independent personality, with the support of the Management
Media Officer, Department of Foresight Studies and
and the mission of photography. He will publish a
regular inventory that will alert all stakeholders
on current developments, and may give an opinion on
some draft texts that could concern the exercise of this profession
or the conditions for the distribution of photos in the news media.
2. The conditions for doing the business
I know that in its first draft the report was able to generate some
Questions about the Cressard Law, which establishes a presumption
for the benefit of freelance journalists. I
wishes to be clear on this point: I have no intention of touching this
rules, in any way. So I would like the profession of
continue to be able to practice within the legal framework that
existing, leaving everyone the opportunity to work under the conditions and
the contractual frameworks that are best suited to the Board.
However, the conditions governing the exercise of the profession are not limited to
professionals. They affect the overall management of its activity and
its environment, the conditions of remuneration and protection
On these points, it is necessary to be able to develop
regulation and exercise adapting to profound changes in practices
and the reality of the business.
I would like us to reflect, together with the authorities of the
Identity Card of Professional Journalists under the conditions of attribution
of the press card, especially to professionals who have chosen
to carry out this activity for all or part under the status of contractors.
We also need to revisit the very definition of “agencies of
The profession has been calling for this for a long time. We are
currently at a grooming of the 1945 ordinance, which seems to me
This is essential at a time when the media is undergoing profound changes.
Article 20 of the law «Creation and Internet», introduced by amendment
after a broad consultation with the profession, plans
after a period of two years, a decree will set the conditions for
determination of the minimum wage due to the occasional supplier of
photographs. The issue of remuneration for freelance photographers
is here central. Too few professional organizations have engaged this
consultation. The act must be applied in its entirety and I am
will be used by bringing together all partners in the autumn.
Other sensitive and complex subjects can only be dealt with by a
ongoing dialogue between partners. I hope that such practices
are established to take into account professional environments
increasingly diverse and constantly evolving. If the partners
The State wishes to organise procedures for discussion and even
mediation, he will do so. I therefore propose that in the fall, around the
«mission of photography» and the Directorate General of Media, in
liaison with the other relevant ministerial departments, the list of
defined can be defined, as well as the modalities of their
management. Several of these projects, technical, social or legal,
will therefore be the subject of working groups
simple rules allowing photojournalists to accumulate activities
increasingly diverse with the same social protections
that most economic actors in our country.
The Court of First Instance held that
practices are better framed, clearer, so much from the point of
view of photographers, that of their employers or
clients. Professionals have widely reported the deterioration of
relations, particularly between photographers and agencies. I
wishes to avoid the profession venturing into the deadlock of too much
great “criminalization of relationships” between photographers and employers.
It would be useful to clarify the sources of litigation, to examine the
ways to solve them before they cause permanent blockages
They are harmful to both photojournalists and their employers.
And since I’m talking about the conditions of working as a photojournalist,
I must mention the physical risks to which many of
they are exposed, especially when travelling to areas
in conflict zones. In discussing this subject, I naturally
a thought for Hervé Ghesquiére and Stéphane Taponier, always
detained in Afghanistan.
In the context of the debates that preceded the vote of the law of 27 July 2010
on the external action of the State, I have personally been attentive to this
that journalists be excluded from the provision allowing the State to
claim all or part of the relief expenses from
the foreigner engaged, for the benefit of persons having deliberately
exposed to risks they could not ignore.
The text expressly excludes persons who have taken such risks
in the exercise of their profession and the Minister of Foreign Affairs has
was extremely clear about this: We will never
journalists who do their job, and who therefore take inherent risks
to their profession.”
The question also arises of the costs of social protection to which
journalists are confronted today when they go to report
in so-called “perilous” areas, whether they are missioned or not. These
costs have become exorbitant. Individual coverage on a
weekly flat rate currently ranges from 300 euros in Israel and
1,400 euros in Afghanistan, not counting the price of the “fixer” services
It is an indispensable local for finding, translating and circulating on site.
All these rates vary according to the political instability of the zones
of conflict concerned.
The cost of this growing insecurity of journalists covering
events in conflict zones raises the issue of coverage
adequate social, especially for self-employed journalists and
young graduates who, most of the time, are not mandated by a
media. For them, the cost of risk/payment ratio of the
today’s report is absurd. We must not add
social insecurity to the instability of the world: the right to information is at stake,
the freedom of action of those who give to see the truth of the
world” (J.L Godard).
The mobilization of the Ministry of Culture and Communication on this
question was not in vain. New insurance policies, designed
with and for the professionals of the reportage, are presented here
Perpignan following the contacts initiated by my department in 2009.
As many associations of professional journalists the
wished, the pricing has been adapted to the conditions of exercise sometimes
the precarious situation of freelancers, the conditions of access to these covers
have been facilitated and expanded. These developments correspond to
finally, the recommendations of the parliamentary information mission entrusted
Pierre Lellouche and François Loncle on the status of journalists and
War Correspondents in the Event of Conflict” filed with the
foreign affairs of the National Assembly in 2004.
3. Orphan works and reserved rights
I have already had the opportunity in Arles to indicate my interest in the
legislation tabled in the Senate by Senators Blandin and Tasca at
about the so-called “orphan” visual works published under the
rights reserved. I share the philosophy behind the
implementation of a collective management system for "reserved rights" and
I confirm my availability for a legislative approach specifying the
intellectual property code on these subjects. This bill is
Nevertheless, there are several points to be improved. The definition of works
orphans proposed by this text goes for example beyond the definition
given by the Conseil Supérieur de la Propriété Littéraire et Artistique in
April 2008. Questions also arise about the load and
conditions of the rights holder’s search, or
conditions under which this collective management will be ensured.
This is why it is essential that consultation should begin without delay to
around the CSPLA. I will therefore seize without waiting its President
to continue the work that led to its first
2008 recommendations. The CSPLA contribution should also
ensure that the proposed solution does not result in adverse effects or
cannot be circumvented to the detriment of photographers and
This work will be conducted in the fall.
This reflection will be on the agenda, from Wednesday, of a round table
organized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication with the
“Visa pour l’image” festival contest for which I would like to thank
Jean François Leroy to have agreed to welcome him.
Of the questions which do arise, although not exhaustive, I note that
photos the author wishes to keep «anonymous», the use
made press kits, the situation of «animated» works produced
more and more widely by photojournalists, the case of
photographs of individuals “data” or produced as part of
There is a real problem of definition between the
“reserved rights” and “orphan works”. It’s important.
to be precise in the terms and to verify whether it is necessary to introduce
in the intellectual property code new concepts, allowing
to supplement those currently in use.
In addition, we must quickly clarify the management conditions and
use of the resource thus released.
Finally, will it not be appropriate for a parliamentary discussion
also to go further by dealing with the «right to the image», the indication of
retouches? These are subjects that we know are mobilizing some
But they are also at the heart of the definition of creation and
protection of authors in the age of digital and digital
I know the different points of view on possible avenues
to find solutions to unacceptable abuses.
Let’s work together, work efficiently and work fast. I
wishes to be able to make a decision in the course of the winter. We must
with all professionals, to prepare for a legislative debate that
results over time. I will ensure that the solutions
bring to photography possibilities of diffusion and
fair and effective valuation.
4. Public awareness, especially among the youngest
All these measures must be studied through the prism of the public,
those who see and appreciate photography to its true extent as
fully major means of expression and communication. It is up to him
which I am thinking of as a priority in this mobilization of the
Culture and Communication for Photojournalism. Rapporteurs
of the IGAC have heard this remark which seems to me fallacious for
justify the alleged crisis that photojournalism is experiencing today:
“the photo no longer sells”.
Let me question that. Just look at the attendance numbers.
“Visa for the Image” growing! Just measure success
events such as the Arles meetings, Summer
Lectoure in the Gers, or the Festival
international fashion photography of Cannes. No more today
that yesterday, the photo won’t sell if we don’t care how
the public appropriates the photograph, in the way it is sensitized to the
fundamental role that the press plays in the formation of the individual and in
the conscience of the citizen.
To achieve this, it is undoubtedly necessary to sensitize the exclusive supporters of
the writing that in the essays, often, do not give to the visual, the role
which is his responsibility. How often have outstanding works been
published in indecipherable vignettes? I leave this decision to
editors whose responsibility is in this regard
We must also make the public aware, give them the keys to
to observe and appreciate the work. I therefore take this opportunity
today to announce that the 22nd week of the
Press and Media in School”, organized each year in the month of
under the aegis of the Centre de liaison de l'Enseignement et des Médias de
In 2011, the theme will be photojournalism and illustration
The event reaches 4.5 million people every year. The
15,000 schools. It is a showcase
exceptional for the press and photojournalism professions.
I have already had the opportunity to say so, and I repeat: photography is a
as long as it is original, that is to say it bears the imprint
its author’s personality. It therefore has a value. As such, it is
legitimate that the author is recognized as such and that he can be remunerated
for its activity.
Without this, how can we imagine that photojournalism will continue to
mission of witness and memory for the next generations?
Milan Kundera says it clearly in Immortality: Memory does not film
not, memory photography». Certainly, few forms of creation have
known throughout their history - and that of photography is short -
technical upheavals. However, photography has
always able to cope, remain a mode of creative expression, respond to
the growing public interest.
Today, however, we have another challenge, related to
profound transformations of the press. Contrary to what is sometimes
the media, tomorrow, will continue to broadcast images. Because they are
they, at least those of quality, that attract our attention and us
allow you to quickly remember the events of the day.
«Visa for the image» is here to show us the formidable «reservoir of
contents», stories, that every day photojournalists come
enrich, with various languages: show, make dream, sometimes shock,
awaken our consciences always... This is their role, this is their
specificity. This implies diversity of approaches, openness to the world,
freedom to see and make see. A strong link must exist between information and
culture, to meet the challenges of a poorly regulated globalization, for
allow plurality and diversity of views.
Our role and my responsibility is to think about new models
economic and social of a more diverse, richer, better
distributed. They also consist in ensuring that, in this huge construction site,
photographers receive the recognition they deserve for this
show us and for the way they show us. I give
Now we’ll go to those who have questions.