In what was described as a major step forward for French minorities, a black journalist has been chosen to present the country’s most popular television news programme this summer, the private broadcaster TF1 said Tuesday.
Harry Roselmack, 32, who is from the French Caribbean island of Martinique, will take over from star presenter Patrick Poivre d’Arvor while he is on his summer break. ‘This is like a bombshell for us – a black presenting the eight p.m. news on the biggest television station in France! It is a huge advance,’ said Amirouche Laidi, president of Club Averroes which campaigns for minority representation in the media.
From the summer, he will present regular news bulletins on TFI’s 24-hour news channel, LCI. More importantly, he will, from July, become the face of the 8pm TF1 news while its veteran presenter, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, is on holiday.
“This is like a bombshell for us — a black presenting the 8 p.m. news on the biggest television station in France. It is a huge advance,” said Amirouche Laidi, president of Club Averroes, which campaigns for minority representation in the media.
“Pretty soon, no one will see the black man on the television, only the journalist.”After last year’s riots in high-immigration city suburbs, President Jacques Chirac called on the country’s media to do more to reflect the country’s ethnic diversity. Television channels and advertising companies have been criticised for being reluctant to employ black and Arab broadcasters and actors.
Roselmack is currently a presenter with the news channel i-Tele