Local information to nourish the regions’ sense of identity

The second edition of the Carleton-sur-Mer International Journalism Festival (FIJC) is being held this weekend in Gaspésie. Among the major issues addressed during this annual meeting, the question of local journalism and regional information attracts particular attention.

For Johanne Fournier, president of the Eastern Quebec section of the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ), regional information is essential to nourish the regions’ sense of identity.

Regional information is important, because there is a feeling of belonging. Through regional information, people recognize each other […] The festival is of all kinds, and to hold a festival in Carleton-sur-Mer without making room for regional information would have been contradictorysays Ms. Fournier, who also contributed to the programming of the event.

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Several events of the Carleton-sur-Mer International Journalism Festival take place at the Quai des arts, a municipal performance hall.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

Same story with Andréanne Lebel, journalist for Info Sunday in Rivière-du-Loup, which considers that access to verified and professional local information allows people to make informed choices in their everyday lives.

Although the event is an international festival, the journalist insists on the importance of watch international or provincial news with the regional bezel.

Regional information is one of the foundations of democracy.

A quote from Andréanne Lebel, journalist for Info Sunday in Rivière-du-Loup

Regional news is fragile

Several panelists and guests interviewed during the event expressed their concerns about the crisis shaking regional media. The term fragile has also been mentioned many times, and the watchword is vigilance in order to protect local journalism in Quebec.

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However, despite the economic difficulties in the journalism sector, the general director of FIJCBertin Leblanc, is particularly enthusiastic about Quebec’s potential in terms of local journalism.

We must remain vigilant. We are in a complicated economic period, but we are in a particular, complex moment, which offers many opportunities. Crisis [dans les médias] is an opportunity to create opportunities and I find that in Quebec, we manage to create new, very agile media despite news blockageshe rejoices.

Mr. Bertin is also happy with the reception of the event in Gaspésie, a region in which the media offering is relatively healthyaccording to him, in particular because of the presence of community radio stations and the vitality of information cooperatives.

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The general director of the International Journalism Festival, Bertin Leblanc, says he is particularly satisfied with the success of the event with the Gaspé public. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

In addition to the question of regional information, the themes of correspondence abroad, First Nations, as well as artificial intelligence were also covered.

In addition, several distinguished guests came to the event, including journalist Jean-François Lépine, sponsor of the event. The latter moderated a panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which Radio-Canada anchor Céline Galipeau took part. Author and journalist Alain Saulnier took part in a panel on web giants and the media.

MPs also participated in a panel concerning elected officials and disinformation, including the mayor of Amqui, Sylvie Blanchette, the mayor of Carleton-sur-Mer, Mathieu Lapointe, and the federal deputy in Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia , Kristina Michaud.

The Carleton-sur-Mer International Journalism Festival concludes on Sunday.

With information from Marguerite Morin

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