Albert Londres at the BNF: 140 years later, what have we done with freedom of the press?

This fall, the BnF is hosting the 83rd edition of the Albert-Londres Prize, the prestigious French journalism award, each year distinguishing three young reporters in the written press, audiovisual and publishing categories.

Long live freedom of expression Taymaz Valley Flickr

The BnF and the Albert Londres association wish to celebrate this fundamental moment in the journalistic and political life of our country and return to the debates and questions that led to the development of this great law of the Republic. In addition to the award ceremony, which will take place November 15, the Library will be the scene of several events around Albert Londres and the question of information.
From November 9, the BnF will offer an immersion in its press collections, on themes such as women reporters or the little-known figure of Albert Londres photographer. November 16 two documentaries awarded in previous editions will be screened as part of the “Cinémas de Midi”; finally, November 19, Prize winners and guests, curators of the BnF, researchers and journalists will come together for a day of study on current events in journalism and press freedom.

Presentation of the Albert-Londres Prize

November 15, 2021, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Grand Auditorium, BnFI François-Mitterrand

Our role is not to be for or against, nor to do harm, it is to put the pen in the wounds ” said Albert Londres. This word has become like a mantra of the journalistic requirement desired by the association of the Albert Londres Prize. On November 15, the Albert-Londres 2021 awards will be presented in the Grand Auditorium of the BnF, the 83rd for the written press, the 37th for the audiovisual sector and the 5th for the book.

Law of July 29, 1881: What have we done with freedom of the press?

November 9 – December 31, 2021 Library for all audiences – Rooms A & B – BnFI François-Mitterrand

This fall, on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1881 law on press freedom, the reading rooms of the François-Mitterrand site dedicated to the audiovisual sector and the press will be wearing the colors of the AlbertLondres prize.
From November 9, readers and visitors will be able to discover the history of the law, from 1789 to 1881, through the Library’s collections. Other themes addressed in this presentation: the great figures of women reporters such as Nellie Bly and Andrée Viollis, a lesser-known side of Albert Londres, that of photographer, as well as his major front page reports, but also the history of the prize, from the first laureates in 1933 to today.
Free entry

Midday cinema – Around the Albert-Londres Prize: telling the story of the war

November 16, 2021, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., Small auditorium – BnFI François-Mitterrand

The “Cinémas de midi” screenings are an opportunity to discover documentary films from the audiovisual collections of the BnF on the big screen. On the occasion of the Albert-Londres prize awarded to the BnF, a screening offers two documentaries, awarded the Albert-Londres prize for audiovisual documentaries in 1987 and 1994, and yet more relevant than ever.

  • Lebanon : in the land of the living dead, Frédéric Laffont – Prix Albert-Londres 1987, 13 min The daily life of a country at war is not only the dead and the wounded. In the course of the testimonies of the Lebanese, an entire country emerges, put on antidepressants to survive in the midst of the bombs.
  • Rachida – letters from Algeria, Florence Dauchez – Albert-Londres Prize 1994, 52 min

Rachida, mother of seven children with diverse destinies, confides in director Florence Dauchez. His family, torn between individual freedoms and the weight of traditions, embodies Algeria’s contradictions.
In partnership with the University of Paris and the Cinémathèque du documentaire.
Free entry – reservation required via the Affluences app
Health pass and wearing a mask compulsory

Study day

Law of July 29, 1881: What have we done with freedom of the press? November 19, 2021, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Grand auditorium, BnFI François-Mitterrand

140 years ago, with 444 votes to 4, the law of July 29, 1881 was voted on in the Assembly. Often overlooked, it nevertheless structures freedom of expression on essential points. 140 years later, it is still at the heart of debates both in France and in the United States. A day to reflect, learn and debate the issues that shake up and shake up journalism. Post-truth, drifts of digital technology (of which the Pegasus affair is the perfect illustration), centralization of the media: so many questions asked today about the freedom of the press and the confidence in its treatment of the news.
History, and in particular the press archives, are here sources of reflection on the false news, the engagement of Albert Londres, the presence today practically forgotten of the women reporters at the beginning of the XXth century. On November 19, 2021, journalists, researchers and historians will question the news of the journalist profession during a study day. Composed of five round tables, and in the presence of Pulitzer Prize members, it will question information around the themes of freedom, trust, money, truth and reporting.
In the presence of : Jean-Marie Charon (sociologist), Sonia Devillers (France Inter), Stephen Engelberg (Pulitzer Prize), Claude Guibal (France Inter), Martine Laroche-Joubert (France Télévisions), Samuel Laurent (Le Monde), Mindy Marques (Prize Pulitzer), Olivier Milot (Télérama), Antoine Perraud, Laurent Richard (Forbiden stories), Isabelle Roberts (Les Jours), Tristan Waleckx (France Télévisions)

Free entry – reservation recommended via the Affluences app

Health pass and wearing a mask compulsory

The gaze of Hervé Brusini, president of the Albert-Londres Prize jury

“The BnF is in direct connection with Albert Londres, since it keeps the written testimony of the reporter’s articles as they were offered to the reader of the Petit Journal, for example. And then, little by little, under our gaze, the Library’s heritage collections come to life. Here we are invited to the last adventures of Albert in the middle of the other great titles of the time. Africa, Asia, the hell of the penal colony, or “among the mad”, photos appear. They also signed London. If one listens, in the silence of the reading room, one hears the din of wars, cries of pain, the denunciation of injustices … In short, the archive invites to a motionless journey, to an understanding of the world , and also to the discovery of the history of information, which is too often experienced without history. Here it is, the link between the Albert-Londres Prize and the BnF: reading in black and white, the connection between archives, journalism and democracy. “
The presentation of the Albert-Londres prize to the BnF will also see the creation of a series of five podcasts, to be listened to on the BnF channels. Each episode will be devoted to a theme, such as reports by Albert Londres or women reporters.

We would like to say thanks to the writer of this article for this remarkable content

Albert Londres at the BNF: 140 years later, what have we done with freedom of the press?

Hank Gilbert