An Amazon fulfillment center on April 25, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
An Amazon fulfillment center on April 25, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (DAVID BECKER / AFP)

In a column published Monday, November 16 on the site of franceinfo, 120 leaders of NGOs, associations, unions, political parties, as well as writers, booksellers or elected officials, make the observation of a “unprecedented crisis which has once again revealed the deep inequalities in our society”. They demand the establishment of“an exceptional tax on Amazon sales” and “the other profiteers of the crisis” sanitary, highlighting “the urgency to stop the expansion of the e-commerce giant”.

Franceinfo’s approach was not really understood by some of the listeners; they wrote to the mediator of the antennas of Radio France, Emmanuelle Daviet. The opportunity today in this meeting to take stock of the issue of the publication of forums by the editorial staff of franceinfo. With the deputy editor-in-chief, Matthieu Mondoloni.

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Emmanuelle Daviet: What is the editorial line of franceinfo for publishing a column?

Matthieu Mondoloni: It is a question of whether a column is editorially relevant. That is to say, what interests us is: is it participating in a debate which is in tune with the times, and to which we ourselves devote a certain number of subjects . This platform is a light, it obviously never reflects the position of franceinfo, since we are in a position of usual neutrality, faithful to the editorial line of our channel. But it is really the editorial relevance of this forum that will hold our attention.

This is indeed the case with this forum co-signed by 120 people, 120 organizations, on Amazon. We chose to publish it because, I repeat, it seemed to us to be in tune with the times, in a debate that is mounting. We can still see that, in the days which followed the publication of this column, this caused debate, it made Amazon react, but also other large distributors, large distribution in general, but also small traders. This is the line that leads us to publish, or not, a column. We don’t do a lot of it anyway, if you look on the franceinfo.fr site, there aren’t that many. But this is really what defines for us, the need or not, the acceptance or not to publish this column, it is the editorial point of view that seems relevant to us.

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Emmanuelle Daviet: How is the selection made? Who decides ? Are the signatories coming to find you?

Matthieu Mondoloni: Yes indeed. Usually, these are forums, and here we get a lot more than we publish. But it is the signatories who send us the forums by email, which usually goes to the editorial board. For the Amazon version, I got the first version sent to me. So, we read carefully what is contained in the text of this forum, to know if it fits into an editorial logic that is ours, if it will cause debate, if it can cause a reaction. And we obviously look at who signs this platform; are these people who represent something today. We are not going to publish an op-ed that is signed by five people, whom no one has ever heard of.

But in this case, what seemed interesting to us, beyond the usual signatories of this kind of anti-Amazon platform, is that it was more widely relayed by booksellers, by small traders, who also , had affixed the signature below this platform. We said to ourselves that there, indeed, there was an editorial logic in publishing it, in putting it forward. But we have also published forums in favor of the learning of young people, we published articles of the magistrate’s union, in the debate which was the one that opposed Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Minister of Justice. A column was published on the Union des Gauches, the left-wing parties calling for unification for the next presidential election.

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These are not partisan choices for us. Obviously these are partisan forums, that’s obvious, but that’s why we call it a “platform”. We do not open the antenna, we do not open the website to just anyone, only to people who have something to say, in order, behind, to be able to react the adversaries, the opponents. We are using this forum to generate debate.

You indicated that you receive more columns than you publish. So precisely what type of forum do you refuse to publish, other than those signed by unknown people?

From the stands that cross, what I’ll call me, “the editorial red line of franceinfo”. There are comments that we do not relay, whether in the reports that we produce, in the guests that we have in the studio, comments that can be discriminating, obviously racist, xenophobic, etc. We don’t hold them back, we explain to the people who send them to us why they won’t be picked up. But I repeat once again, we publish very, very few ultimately on the site of franceinfo. I was doing the catalog a little while ago, in the last few months we must have published five or six, and even over the past year.

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