the boycott of the “Quotidien de la Réunion”, against all odds

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Thursday, two goals allowed the French team to qualify for the final of the World Cup which takes place in Qatar, allowing the team to access its second consecutive final after that of 2018 in Russia. If the World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events in the world, a French newspaper boycotted it from the start: The Daily of Reunion.

On September 13, 2022, The Daily of Reunionone of the main newspapers distributed on this island in the Indian Ocean, headlined « Without us ». The front page is then widely taken up by many media and goes around social networks, counting more than 8,500 likes on Twitter. Thereby, The Daily will not cover the sporting aspect of the FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar on behalf of ” values » you journal.

The date of publication of this front page is not chosen at random either since it was September 13, 1976 that this Reunionese newspaper was born. The reasons for this boycott are clear, this World Cup ” crystallizes intolerable attacks on human dignity and freedoms, it has trampled on the rights of workers and minorities and swept away respect for the environment ».

Interviewed on the air RFI last September, Flavien Rosso, head of the sports department of the Daily explained this editorial decision: There is a whole series of completely aberrant decisions, in terms of the violation of rights, in terms of the violation of the environment, in terms of non-respect of minorities. We had to say “stop”, knowing that it is not necessarily Qatar that we are judging and condemning. We really judge the way this World Cup was built and which, in our opinion, is incompatible with the values ​​that, for 46 years, Le Quotidien has been trying to develop. »

Widely reported, this boycott has not been followed by other media and to date The Daily remains the only French media not to cover World Cup matches, in this it is even a first in the history of French media.

Football matches excluded from newspaper columns

« No article or advertisement evoking the sporting aspect of this 2022 World Cup is therefore published in the columns of the newspaper, as well as on its website. However, issues related to climate issues, human rights and LGBT+ rights in Qatar, the host country of this World Cup, are however treated by the Reunionese newspaper, that is to say all the sidelines of the World Cup. And France may have qualified for the final, but no article from the Daily does not mention it.

Émilien, in his forties, lives in the south of the island and is a great reader of the Daily for fifteen years. This decision taken by the newspaper at the beginning of September does not change anything for him: “ At the time, I found this bold decision and I found it rather good that the newspaper took this bias “. A football fan, Émilien still continues to follow the World Cup via social networks and television. ” I decided not to read other Reunionese newspapers and that didn’t change my habits either, I continue to read the Daily during this World Cup. »

A few days before the World Cup final, what impact has this boycott had on the newspaper’s sales? Asked about the consequences of this boycott on the financial level and on its readership, The Daily did not wish to answer our questions, pointing the finger ” a lack of hindsight on the numbers ».

“Reporting daily events”

The Daily is one of the most widely read newspapers in Reunion, but it is closely followed by the Journal of Reunion (JIR). Patrick Planchenault, editorial director of JIR, notes a popular fervor on the island, around this World Cup and a shudder around the sales of the newspaper. For him, the media coverage of this planetary sporting event was beyond doubt: “ Our mission is to inform as journalists. We are everyday historians and therefore we have to report on everyday events even if there are things that we can denounce in this World Cup. »

Yes JIR refuses to communicate the figures related to the sales of the newspaper during this period of the World Cup, Jacques Tillier, publisher and shareholder of the JIRassures that there is a difference between the sales linked to the 2018 World Cup and the one currently taking place in Qatar: ” We made better sales than in ordinary times, but it’s not extraordinary either. »

On Sunday, the Blues will face the Argentines to attempt a double that could be historic, under the riveted eyes of viewers around the world. On Monday, December 19, this match will make the front page of many newspapers, except one.

To listen also: World Cup 2022, support for people who are discriminated against: the World Cup of discord


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