At the Quatre Temps shopping mall in the Paris district of La Defense, four friends vent their frustration about the media landscape.
“There’s no such thing as media independence here,” says Yasser Louati, in front of a half-finished cup of coffee and notes he jots down while speaking.
The airline pilot-turned-anti-racism activist is greeted with nods of agreement from the others, and journalist Nadia Henni-Moulai interjects: “These people are investing their money in media companies at a loss for a reason, and that is to buy influence.”
Henni-Moulai’s complaint stems from the fact that some of France’s most well-known newspapers are owned either by extremely rich individuals or large corporations.
The conservative Le Figaro, for example, is owned by Dassault Group, best known for its subsidiary which produces fighter planes.
The centre-left Liberation newspaper is part-owned by Patrick Drahi, who has other major holdings in radio and TV stations.