Florence Aubenas, the greatness of the report

In a bare voice

At 8 p.m. on France Culture, from Monday to Friday

Florence Aubenas embodies a form of journalism, dignified and stubborn, which walks the hollow roads of the news, insinuates itself into obscure corners, often away from the media scene. Twenty years in the heyday of Release, almost ten years World, after a visit to New Observer. His investigations, long, patient, meticulous, human, have created an immediately recognizable style, marked by empathy, a sense of detail, attention to others and the unveiling of the fate of “people of little”. She flushed out the miscarriage of justice in the Outreau case (The mistake), made herself up as a cleaning lady on the ferries (The Quai de Ouistreham) to describe the conditions, followed for six years the mystery of an unsolved crime, subject of his last book (The Unknown of the post).

Daughter of a French diplomat and a film critic, born in Brussels, Florence Aubenas left Belgium to come and study in France. Journalism, which was not its vocation, has become its “identity”. From her first report on a news item, she knew that her life would be in this wandering to tell the real story, never to stay in an office, nor to climb in the hierarchy, aiming for the status of great reporter, a distinction to which can claim those who are always available, ready to go.

In this series of fascinating and stimulating interviews, praising the greatness of the report, Florence Aubenas, natural and direct, describes her working methods, her mixed feelings in the field, insists on the fine line between proximity and intimacy when we practice, like her, the “Chameleon journalism”. She evokes with great frankness certain cases of conscience (notably in Rwanda), and with sobriety her harsh kidnapping as a hostage in Iraq for 157 days and nights, as her refusal to be considered as a “war reporter”. For her, her job merges with her life. Curiosity is its compass and its magnet.


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