Do you know Le P’tit Monde? If this is not the case, it is probably because you have never been to the International Journalism Festival, in Couthures-sur-Garonne, a village in the South-West which is transformed every summer, for three days, in an open-air forum. Le P’tit Monde is the festival newspaper, eight pages produced every day by the children of festival-goers and those of Couthures – supervised by adults – and sold at auction by their young authors in the streets of the village.

The titles of the group Le Monde (Courrier International, Le HuffPost, Le Monde, Télérama and La Vie) and Le Nouvel Obs, which have been organizing this event since 2018, expected everything except to receive a letter from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) reminding them that “all publications published and distributed in France” had to be the subject of a legal deposit with the BNF and that this obligation had not been respected concerning Le P’tit Monde . An oversight which was promptly repaired.

This is how this ephemeral and ultralocal daily made its entry among the press titles listed by the venerable institution. At the International Journalism Festival, there is no big and small journalism, big and small media, only a profession in all its diversity, its contrasts, its ways of doing things… Festival-goers, whatever their age , will be able to learn journalistic techniques, by participating in the activities offered as part of the truancy, such as the writing workshops led by Sylvie Kauffmann, the editorial director of Le Monde.

Personalities and media

At Couthures, they will be able to meet personalities such as Claire Chazal, Thierry Thuillier, director of information at TF1, Jérôme Fenoglio, director of Le Monde, the war reporter Patricia Allémonière, the European deputy (Renew) and journalist Bernard Guetta or the writer and journalist Eric Fottorino, but also attend a round table organized on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Cressard law, which offered status to freelance journalists.

Of course, the major media will be present in large numbers: TF1, France 2, France 24, Public Senate, Agence France-Presse, RTL, Franceinfo, France Culture, Le Monde, La Croix, L’Opinion, Mediapart, Le Canard enchained, Marianne, but also Le 1, Notre temps, Revue XXI and Reporterre, as well as the festival partners which are the daily newspaper Sud Ouest and France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The new media will not be left out, with the participation of journalists and popularizers like Jean Massiet, Charlie Danger or Gaspard G, whose names and faces are familiar to users of the platforms and social networks.

The international press will be well present, with The Guardian, Corriere della sera, Der Spiegel, El Pais, the Swiss daily Le Temps and RTBF, the French-speaking Belgian radio and television, all partners of the event. Among the foreign journalists, festival-goers will also be able to interact with the American Adam Shatz, contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Times, the Israeli Meron Rapoport, regular contributor to the Israeli-Palestinian media 972, or the Belgian press cartoonist Pierre Kroll, expected with a delegation from the Cartooning for Peace association.

Film selection

For the second year, the Local Information Festival will offer Couthures a daily event around local and regional media, while the Fipadoc (International Documentary Film Festival) will present a selection of films screened during its last edition, including the highly acclaimed 20 Days in Mariupol, by Mstyslav Chernov, which won a Pulitzer Prize.

An entire ecosystem has been set up over the years around the International Journalism Festival, with the participation of actors such as Reporters Without Borders or, for the first time this year, the BNF. This will present the work of photojournalists Guillaume Herbaut and Camille Millerand carried out as part of the major photographic commission. This operation with public funds of exceptional scale, intended to document the view of two hundred photographers on post-Covid France, is currently the subject of an exhibition at the BNF, in Paris.

Meetings, round tables, workshops, exhibitions, screenings, shows, performances: more than two hundred events will be offered to festival-goers over these three days. The program is structured around seven themes, which change each year. For this edition, festival-goers, consulted in the fall, selected two very political subjects: one on the capacity of capitalism to transform in the face of the climate emergency, the other on the rise of the far right in Europe, a phenomenon whose scale will be better measured after the June 9 election.

Thematic debates

The theme on water resource issues will be particularly awaited in Lot-et-Garonne and will benefit from the presence of the anthropologist Philippe Descola. We will also address the subject of aging well, while the question of the end of life is currently being debated by parliamentarians. Among the guests on this theme, comedian Alex Vizorek, who now works on RTL and will present a special version of his show Ad Vitam.

The last three themes concern information and journalism: we will talk about the media in the face of wars, the way in which young people obtain information and the difficulty of debating today, whether in the public sphere or in a circle private, with a promising meeting, entitled “How to survive family meals through non-violent communication”.

The seriousness of the subjects discussed should be, as every year, counterbalanced by an atmosphere that is both constructive and friendly, by the interventions of local artists, the DJ sets to end the evenings and the projection which promises to be magical – under the stars and on giant screen – from Animal Kingdom, film shot partly in Lot-et-Garonne.

The artists’ view of current events has always had its place at the International Journalism Festival: the musical reading taken from the war diary of Olga and Sasha, the two Ukrainian sisters that readers of Le Monde and “M Le Monde magazine » have been following for almost two years, will be given on the main stage of the festival. A show that should touch Camélia Jordana. The actress and musician has agreed to be the godmother of this eighth edition of the International Journalism Festival. She will be in Couthures to share with festival-goers her view of current events as well as her experience as a committed artist.