News channel France 24 suspends four journalists over anti-Semitism allegations
France’s international channel says the reporters were taken off-air to ‘protect the integrity of the work’ of its Arabic-language newsroom.
PARIS – France’s state-funded news channel France 24 has suspended four journalists working for its Arabic service over allegations of anti-Semitism.
In a press release published Monday, the international channel said that the journalists had been taken off-air pending an internal investigation into allegations made by media watchdog Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
“After the publication of an article on the CAMERA website […], implicating a journalist and three Arabic-language correspondents of France 24 regarding certain comments they allegedly posted on their personal pages on social networks, the channel’s management has immediately opened an audit on these alleged posts,” France 24 said.
The media-monitoring group has accused the journalists of making references to the Holocaust and of bias in their reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on social media.
France 24’s Society of Journalists, a body representing the interests of journalists working for the channel, cautioned that “all the facts haven’t been established” and that the nature of the allegations against each journalist were “very different,” according to a statement seen by POLITICO.
“We also state forcefully that our coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in no way partisan, that we abhor anti-Semitism and that the France 24 newsroom will not be associated with such accusations,” the statement read.
The internal investigation, which was opened last week, is being led by an independent consulting firm, according to the Society of Journalists.
The state-funded channel broadcasts around-the-clock international news coverage in several languages including French, English and Arabic. According to its website, it is the number one international news channel in the Maghreb and in the French-speaking African countries.