She was director of information for Agence France-Presse (AFP). Journalist Michèle Léridon, a member of the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) for two years, died Monday at the age of 62, the regulatory authority announced on Tuesday. “Woman of convictions, Michèle Léridon was a great journalist unanimously recognized”, in particular for “her rich experience and her great intellectual rigor”, underlined the CSA in a press release, recalling “her commitment in favor of freedom of expression and freedom of information ”which will have guided its course.
“Much admired for her honesty and integrity”
“Michèle taught me a lot when I arrived at AFP, when she was the news director there. For me, she embodied the human values that I love at the Agency: empathy, curiosity for everything, rectitude, weighting of judgment and a sense of humor ”, reacted the CEO of the press agency, Fabrice Fries, welcoming “A wonderful person, in love with life”.
“We are all shocked and devastated by the sudden disappearance of Michele”, testified Phil Chetwynd, who had succeeded him in the direction of the information, evoking “not only a remarkable journalist, but also a courageous chief of the drafting of the ‘AFP, much admired for its honesty and integrity.
After starting her career in the written press, she joined AFP in 1981, where she notably worked in the media section, then carried out missions in West Africa. She then founded the Cities-Banlieues section, before being appointed deputy director of the Abidjan office. In this capacity, she covered in particular the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone (1996-1999).
She joined the CSA in 2019
She successively became deputy editor-in-chief Europe Africa, head of the social information service, then editor-in-chief, and director of the Rome office. In the summer of 2014, she was appointed director of information, the agency’s highest editorial post. The first woman to hold these positions, Michèle Léridon notably contributed to developing the agency’s activities in video and the fight against disinformation, and launched measures in favor of better representation of women.
In early 2019, she joined the CSA. Responsible in particular “for the ethics of programs and political pluralism, she had ensured the follow-up of several polls”, but also played “a major role in the expansion of the Council’s missions with regard to platforms” and social networks, “Thus contributing to the transformation of an institution that it will have left its mark”, summarized the CSA.