French TV mag "Africans in Paris” provokes a storm
Sunday 6th March 2011 in prime time, ‘Enquêtes exclusive’ - an investigation magazine on M6 TV channel in France produced by Bernard de la Villardière - presented the lives of some African communities and personalities in Paris, which provoked a bit of a storm in France because of the way it was treated.
For a little over an hour, the documentary offered to present lifestyles of African communities in Paris.

Interesting at first glance, this story has created a backlash of indignation among some Africans, holding a caricature of the life of certain Africans living in Paris. 

Indeed, during the report we saw no student community, or Africans working in large companies, but rather the hard life of Africans selling counterfeit bags or vegetables on the sidewalks of quarter ‘Château Rouge’ (18th arrdt), the race of illegal African prostitutes pursued by the police, or even boys trying to attract African ladies to ‘Afro-hairdressers’ again illegally (a long tradition outside of “Château d’Eau” Metro station in the 10th arrdt).

On the bright side, the programme presented an African self made man called ‘the bachelor’ who set up a shop and managed to become a fashion icon in Paris for elegance (‘la sape et ses sapeurs’). It also highlighted black beauties for “Miss Senegal Paris” yearly elections. It ended with a chef with Senegalese origins responsible for a high class Parisian restaurant (Petrossian, 7th arrdt.).

Basically, the programme was criticised for not always been very relevant and a bit negative; however it is hard to talk about the life of Africans in Paris over just 1 hour: there are more than 1 Million Africans living in Paris greater area and Africans also represent about 10% of the French population.

Replay in French available here:

Author: Sylvain Béletre.


Seven members head the "Arab Group of Media Observation"

Seven members head the newly formed "Arab Group of Media Observation" it was announced during a meeting with the press held start of March 2011 in Tunis.

It is a grouping of organisations and individuals who militate in the field of media, freedom of expression and Human Rights in the Arab world.

The structure's objectives are the building of an Arab professional and independent information, the support to freedom of opinion and expression and the development of journalists' capacities, explained Mrs. Sihem Ben Sedrine, President of this new organisation.

Reports including observations and recommendations on the situation of media in the Arab world as well as legal aspects of the profession, the respect of the code of ethics and relations between the public authorities and media are to be established.

The steering committee of the group is made up of 7 members.

They are Mrs. Sihem Ben Sedrine (President), Mr. Nabil Rajeb(Bahrain), Mr. Jihad Harb (Palestine), Mrs. Sally Khadri (Egypt), Mr. Mohamed Khawalda (Jordan), Mr.Khalil Abdelmomen (Algeria), and Mrs Maha Seblati (Syria).

The constituent meeting of the group has been held on March 4-6 in Tunis with the participation of 18 representatives of Arab organisations in the Human Rights fields.

Tunisia's choice for holding this first meeting is "An Expression of Support to The Tunisian Revolution", specifies a communiqué of the group issued on Sunday.