“Great television moment” Where “Marketing coup” ? After seven years of silence, the Belgian songwriter Stromae created the event in the 8 p.m. newspaper of TF1, Sunday January 9, by revealing Hell, new title of his future album which evokes “Suicidal thoughts”, while the artist has recovered from a burnout in recent years. The singer revealed this track in a skillful staging, as if it was the last answer, in song, to a question from presenter Anne-Claire Coudray, as musical notes begin to accompany it and the plan tightens on him. The sequence was followed live by 7.2 million viewers, viewed more than 5 million times online, and cheerfully debated on social networks. A mixture of genres between journalism and musical promotion that has been questioning many of our colleagues.
If you watch this video, starting at 7:09, you will see what is called “a TV moment”. It’s … https://t.co/o6HtkESk6F
To achieve this “Surprise” – which was therefore not spontaneous – it took three weeks “Intense reflections, exchanges, work with Stromae and his entourage”, explains to 20 minutes Yoann Saillon, artistic director of TF1. “During the preparatory phase, we shot several proposals, including a sequence shot where the frame tightens on him to match the strength of his gaze. “ The journalist describes this moment as being “The most beautiful moment of (her) interviewing career “.
” Red line “
But this sequence is not to everyone’s taste. Cultural journalist at Release, Olivier Lamm “Wonders about the reasons which pushed the editorial staff of TF1 to to cross this red line and to accept the diversion of its summary in favor of a marketing operation openly instrumentalizing the program, thereby altering even the editorial essence of its program and the deep meaning of its images ”. “Of course, promotional shenanigans in news programs are not new; since the overwhelming expansion of infotainment [contraction des mots “information” et “entertainment”, divertissement] right down to the barely hidden advertising content of sites like Konbini, the public is constantly subjected to ever more vague editorial formats, which have only very indirectly to do with journalism ”, he continues, denouncing “A vast system aimed at exploiting [Stromae] Up to the last drop “.
Same story with journalists Sophie Delassein and Arnaud Gonzague from The Obs who denounce a sequence “Frankly embarrassing”, from “Blur what remains of benchmarks between information and entertainment”. For them there is confusion, “Suddenly everything is muddled up. There is no longer any distinction between the information space, subjected to this stubborn old thing called journalistic ethics, and the space of the clip. No more difference between the punctilious ethics, and the course of the show. No more separation between the necessarily distanced gaze, and the imperatives of show business “, they judge, believing that this promiscuity feeds the anti-media discourse of “Those who, everywhere in the West, parade with signs:“ Rotten media! Media accomplices! ” “.
“Trust the viewer”
On France Inter, in her editorial, the journalist Sonia Devillers sees nothing dramatic, however, considering that “Thus playing with the codes of the news, it is to trust the televiewer, his culture of the image, his understanding of the information, his lucidity vis-a-vis an artist in promotion”. But according to Jean-Jacques Jespers, professor of journalistic ethics at the Free University of Brussels, interviewed by the Belgian newspaper The evening, “Many surveys show that the confusion between communication and information is less and less noticed by the public”.
The Belgian singer, Paul Van Haver by birth name, is not on his first tour. Stromae ” is an ace of media shots: he had already played the surprise on the set of “Large Journal” of Canal +, in 2013, by duplicating itself in the image, or on that of Frédéric Taddeï on France 3, in “Tonight or never !)”, tumbling down among the guests to interpret Awesome “, remember Telerama.
“Granting mental illness an unprecedented dignity”
Beyond this return “Orchestrated” (The cross), from this “Marketing coup”, according to an editorial by Time, “There was also this commendable desire to highlight a sensitive theme”, writes the Swiss newspaper. In this sense, “It is also giving exceptional weight to the words of this song said, in a suit and tie, by a trunk man. It is giving mental illness an unprecedented dignity in the history of television ”, judge Sonia Devillers.
The words of Hell did not leave marble journalist Sophie Fontanel. “I am at home, and I cry. I cry because, as cheerful as I am, as positive as I am, like everyone else I have had or have “sioucidaire” desires. I cry because my brother has it and told me so once. And I often tremble. (…) Stromae sings that, his thoughts “sioucidaires”, He is not proud of it. And of course he’s honest. Except that, by the miracle of his truth and his immense talent, he means that we will never again be ashamed of our own. ”
“Stromae shows through this sequence that it is a subject that we can talk about, including in the newspaper of the most watched channel in France, because there is no reason not to do so”, adds Léonore Dupanloup, communication and media prevention manager within the Stop Suicide association, with the Swiss newspaper The weather. “This positive identification makes it possible to give visibility to suicide, but also to the whole theme of mental health”, “Without romanticization or glorification” suicide.