Investigative stories sell: Frederic Pages
Journalists need to keep themselves aloof from politicians or else face the risk of losing credibility cautioned the acclaimed author and French journalist Frederic Pages. Addressing a conference on the famous satirical French weekly Le Canard Enchaine, at Alliance Francaise on January 13, he added that, by familiarizing with the reporters , the French President Nicolas Sarkozy tried to influence them. Narrating his 25 year old journalistic career, Pages urged journalists to acquire knowledge on arts, language and politics to build a successful career.
Newspapers need to reach out to new audiences by making changes in outlook and design. He described how Canard, by putting more cartoons was able to woo the young generation, even though it still retained its old-fashioned design. Saying that a good carton is better than a long page, he said, newspapers need to re-invent themselves to reach out to diverse communities including minorities.
Talking about the editorial preference of his newspaper, he said, investigative stories have made the newspaper profitable. People’s enthusiasm for more investigative stories in Canard helped it reach amazing circulation of four lakh copies in a week. He stated that, pro-people attitude has made the weekly popular in France, and it would continue its tradition of being an anti establishment stand that it had retained since World War II, when it used to keep its inner pages blank, and put obituaries on the front pages to tell its readers about the e enormous human sacrifices in the war, libel laws are strong in France and the reporter has to justify to the judge every word. But it has not deterred the French press from exploring private lives of the famous personalities; as French keep no difference when it comes to their private and public lives. The popularity of his spoofs on the lives of eminent philosophers, published in Canard; The Sex Life of Emmanuel Kant and Nietzsche, or The Midday Demon revealed this fact, he affirmed.