(Quebec) Catherine Dorion again questions the independence and diversity of opinion of Quebecor media columnists. She believes that the media empire chaired by Pierre Karl Péladeau can become "a danger for democracy" if he increases the number of newspapers he owns in Quebec.
"The concentration of the press is a danger for democracy and Quebecor (en) is clearly an example (…) who would like" to accentuate this concentration, said Friday the member of solidarity on the last day of the parliamentary commission on the future of the media of information.
Thursday, Mme Dorion – who was a blogger at Journal of Quebec from 2016 to 2018 – asserted that there was a culture of "self-censorship" in the Quebecor media, where Pierre Karl Péladeau should not be criticized.
The President of the Union of Writing Employees of the Journal of Quebec replied Thursday that if it "respects the opinion of the MP Taschereau", "its perception does not reflect the reality of our profession." In an interview on Quebecor digital radio on Thursday, Mr. Péladeau said she was "completely beside her pumps".
In Wednesday's parliamentary commission, Catherine Dorion also asked Mr. Péladeau if the journalists and columnists of Groupe Capitales Médias newspapers could investigate and criticize his company and his person if he bought these newspapers. The latter replied that the member was performing.
"They defend their boss," says Dorion
In response to the issues raised by the solidarity MP, the newspapers of Quebecor Friday published three columns on the subject.
"I am very satisfied with my exit. It was a long time since I was waiting to tell you, because I could not longer hear that (their) chroniclers are completely independent and have very diverse opinions. Watch today the opinion reaction working at Quebecor (…). It's unanimous. They defend all their boss, "she denounced in a scrum of the press in the National Assembly.
According to her, if one accepts that the columnists of a newspaper do not criticize their company or their colleagues, "it is extremely important that a huge corporate character, an empire like Quebecor (…) does not continue to grow. Because here we will have a serious problem of democracy, "she warned.
The independence of the chroniclers to Press
Quebecor media published a column Friday citing an article in the convention collectively employees of Press. This article states that "comments, analyzes, chronicles or other writings excluding informational texts should not be hostile to Press". He is also registered, notes the columnist Rémi Nadeau, that the editorials can not be hostile or contrary to the editorial position of the newspaper.
In the scrums on Friday, politicians were asked to say if such an article in a collective agreement undermined the independence of the columnists of Press.
For Catherine Dorion, "there should be no hostility neither in the radios, nor in the chronicles, nor in any media". "A columnist should not be hostile to anyone," she said.
MPs from other political parties (Liberal Isabelle Melançon, PQ Harold Lebel and Caquist Samuel Poulin) were also asked about this article of the collective agreement. Press. We asked them, among other things, whether Press had to have access to a possible government program to help the media without guaranteeing complete freedom – including its columnists – to write absolutely anything they want.
The representatives of the Parti Québécois and the Liberal Party said they would study the issue. Samuel Poulin, MP for the CAQ, for his part replied that "the newsrooms are already independent in Quebec" and that "the journalists do their work seriously" and independence.