Macron-Le Pen debate: follow the final preparations live before the duel between the presidential rounds – Le Monde

The debate between the two rounds, a very structured exercise for journalists Leading the debate between the two rounds is certainly prestigious, but it is not the ideal exercise for journalists, reduced to the role of “speakerines”, believe Nathalie Saint-Cricq and Christophe Jakubyszyn, arbiters of the first Macron-Le Pen duel, in 2017. In a joint interview with Agence France-Presse, the two former heads of political services, France 2 for the first, TF1 for the second, do not keep the best journalistic memory of it. Chosen at the time at the last moment by their respective channels, both insist on the extremely “constrained” nature of the exercise which leaves little room for interviewers. “I felt more like a speaker than a journalist,” admits Christophe Jakubyszyn, today at BFM Business. “You are in the role of master clocks and gossips,” adds Nathalie Saint-Cricq, still at France 2. “The exercise is very well prepared in advance with the candidate teams: the themes, the order in which they are going to be addressed,” explains Mr. Jakubyszyn. To respect the rules of neutrality, issued by the media regulator, Arcom, formerly called CSA, are privileged “the flattest possible questions, not at all controversial”, recalls Ms. Saint-Cricq. And there is “a lack of resale right, which is nevertheless the very principle of journalism”, she laments. In retrospect, Nathalie Saint-Cricq regrets not having called the two candidates to order more. “We should have anticipated (…). When you’re on set, without any communication with the outside world, except over the earpiece the two news departments telling you, “Now you have to move on”, “Attention so-and-so is getting ahead of the speaking time ”, it is difficult to intervene. “When a candidate makes a factual error or is approximate, we do not have the right to contradict him, it is up to his opponent to do so”, adds Mr. Jakubyszyn, who compares this debate to a “boxing match where he was more a referee than a journalist”. “Between the questions, we lower our microphone, it is the meaning that we are there to launch the subjects one after the other”, continues the journalist.