Augusto, Beth, No Pasaran and LGF are talking about this,
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence (emphasis added):
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities, said Cohet. He is concerned that the law, and others still being debated, will lead to the creation of a parallel judicial system controlling the publication of information on the Internet.
And what’s next?
The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
Reporters Without Borders is worrying about “excessive self censorship”
The journalists’ organization Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for a free press, has warned that such a system could lead to excessive self censorship as organizations worried about losing their certification suppress certain stories.
I’m certain that the French government censorship will spare them that worry.
The law will punish operators of websites that publish such images with prison or a fine of nearly $100,000.
As it was, the French media did their best to not report on, and then underplay as much as possible, the stories about the Halimi murder, the 2006 New Year’s day rampage on a train from Nice to Lyon, and the 2005 rioting banlieus, which continued into 2006. Since I’m not as optimistic as Reporters Without Borders, I expect a full news blackout on anything that doesn’t reflect well on La Belle France. Everything else will be whitewashed to an appropriate shade.
Additionally, where France goes, the EU follows. Not that this is news.