June 20, 2021

In Brittany, journalism under tension

It is an understatement to say that the last few months have been exhausting. Never, before fall 2020 and the decision to launch Splann !, each of the founders of this NGO of journalistic investigations in Brittany had not had to venture into so many unknown territories: file the statutes of a non-profit association, manage 61,272 euros in donations (as of Wednesday, June 9) , form partnerships with other media, communicate around this project of “Journalism for social transformation”. It is fine to have faith and less than 30 years old, rest is sometimes lacking …

But within a few days, the first fruit of the work that Sylvain Ernault, Juliette Cabaço Roger, Gwenvaël Delanoë, Kristen Falc’hon and Faustine Sternberg coordinated from the editorial board of Splann! (“Clear”, in Breton) that they compose will finally appear in broad daylight. Signed by Caroline Trouillet (winner, in 2018, of the reportage prize of the XXI and France Info), this survey revealing “Neglected air pollution, which originates in Brittany, but affects other regions” will appear on the websites of the NGO and Mediapart. The antennas of Breizh radios (Radio Kerne, Arvorig FM, Radio Kreiz Breizh…) and France 3 Bretagne will also echo this. Then, whoever wants will take up the subject as he sees fit, since at Splann !, information is considered to be a public good.

Before arriving there, it was another type of fatigue that had seized the young people at the origin of this new medium, most of them holding a university diploma in technology (DUT) journalism obtained at the IUT from Lannion (Côtes-d’Armor). At the end of the first confinement, on May 8, 2020, the reading of a support column for journalist Inès Léraud, published by Release, provokes in these bubbling Bretons of origin or adoption a form of overwhelming and revolt. This can not go on.

“A turning point”

They can no longer tolerate that the director of the “Breton Journal”, for France Culture, and co-author, with Pierre Van Hove, of the comic strip investigation. Green algae: the forbidden story (La Revue Drawn, Delcourt, 2019), either intimidated, beset with threats of trial, prevented from attending a local book fair because its investigations disturb the ultra-powerful Breton agri-food industry. “Along with the support committee for Inès Léraud, we needed an initiative from journalists”, explains Sylvain Ernault, presenter of newspapers in a radio station whose name he is silent so that his employer can not blame him.

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