State-owned France 24 is in turmoil over boardroom 'spying' claims

State-owned France 24 is in turmoil over boardroom 'spying' claims
State-owned France 24 is in turmoil over boardroom 'spying' claims 

By Angelique Chrisafis
2 December 2010

It was Jacques Chirac's dream: a French rolling-news channel to 
challenge the BBC and CNN, beaming Paris's global view into the living 
rooms of the world. But the beleaguered France 24 channel has instead 
become a showcase for the back-stabbing, bullying and bravado that some 
say dominate French workplace relations.

After months of squabbling, walkouts and fears of a feud in the upper 
echelons, France 24's boardroom drama has taken a turn for the worse 
after police were called in to investigate accusations of spying and 
computer-hacking in the organisation.

Journalists at the channel were stupefied this week to discover that 
police are looking into charges of a massive spying operation at the 
top. Detectives found more than two million confidential files 
apparently illegally downloaded from the computers of executives running 
France 24, including its president.

The alleged spying operation appears to have targeted the highest 
reaches of Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France (AEF), the holding group 
created by President Nicolas Sarkozy to merge France 24 with the 
country's other global state media, the respected Radio France 
Internationale and part of the French-language channel TV5 Monde.


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