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"Behind the enthusiasm caused by the image is the still current issue of journalism"



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On June 29, 1949, the first JT was broadcast in France. Its creator, Pierre Sabbagh, has encountered difficulties that still concern journalists in the 21st century, details former France 2 editor Hervé Brusini and Alain Wieder.

Posted on June 12, 2019 at 12:29 Time for Play 7 min.

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Pierre Sabbagh (left) in the Radio and Television Show, Paris, September 11, 1957.
Pierre Sabbagh (left) at the Radio and Television Show, Paris, September 11, 1957. STAFF / AFP

Din its edition of 29 of June of 1949, The world Twenty lines were dedicated to the launch, on the same night on television, of a program entitled "Le Journal téléé". It airs every night from 9:00 pm to 9:15 pm – except Tuesdays and Sundays.

This "TV News" (JT), explains the article, will be composed of filmed reports, including the Tour de France will leave the next day. Precisely, after seeing the next day, the same newspaper is enthusiastic. He even writes: "This may represent, according to some, worrisome problems for the filmed press [les “Actualités” que l’on voyait chaque semaine au cinéma]even for the press. "

Article reserved for our subscribers Read too French television broadcasts the first "JT" daily in Europe

All is said. Conventional media are discovering a powerful competitor. Although he has only a few hours of existence and only a few hundred potential viewers in the Paris region, he is already considered capable of shaking the editorial balance of the day. This is not without evoking the monotonous anguish of today's world, where one expects the death of one face or the other for the digital. And this disturbing parallelism does not stop there …

In the first television news, there is an essential document, a cardboard folder containing two words and a date on the cover: "TV News, 1949". Inside, 103 sheets typed in the machine, all have the same title in the upper left corner: news service and television news, 15 rue Cognacq-Jay, Paris. In the center, the word "IMAGES" is written in capital letters, as well as "June 29, 1949". It was Pierre Sabbagh, the inventor of French-language news, who took care to write the adventures and misadventures of what we now call "20 hours" on the first night.

"Better to understand someone's time"

Over the course of a few days, the team, which has counted on all and for all twenty-five pioneers, faces the harsh realities of a nascent genre: the destruction of feature films due to technical mistakes in development, breaking video cameras on set , improvised improvisation of the journalists in their comments made live.

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