Toulouse School of Journalism: city and pink education

Founded in 1990, the Toulouse School of Journalism (EJT) is a private French institution of higher education with the status of a non-profit association governed by the law of July 1, 1901. It was recognized by the profession in 2001 and by the State in 2012. The school trains its students to be journalists in the regional and national daily press, in periodicals and in audio-visual and web media.

A three-year course

The course takes place over three years, which distinguishes it from most of its competitors who offer training in two years. Located rue de la Fonderie, in the center of Toulouse, the WCY rents its premises from the Catholic Institute but is totally independent of this institution.

Entry into the “classical stream” (initial training) is by competitive examination open to students holding at least a Bac+2 level diploma or a baccalaureate with professional experience (CDI of at least 2 years). Tuition fees in the first and second year are 4,250 euros and are reduced to 3,000 euros in the third year.

Among the former students, we can mention Tania Young, host at France 2, Alexandre Ruiz, sports journalist, Myriam Bounafaa, journalist at France Info, or Dimitri Pavlenko, presenter of the morning of Europe 1 where also officiates the iconoclastic humorist Gaspard Proust.

The “diversity” always proclaimed

Like most of its sisters, the WCY claims the sacrosanct “diversity” of the profiles of its students, rejecting the accusations of “formatting” often (legitimately) brought against these establishments. “Training does not mean formatting! exclaims Pierre Ginabat1, its director, on the school’s website, affirming that it is not a question of imposing a “mold” on students but of offering them “a base of elementary rules” so that ‘then they can exercise their profession in complete independence and, of course, distrusting “disinformation” which is however not defined. “This is how democracy can work, and it is the exact opposite of the single thought, imposed by active minorities on silent majorities and by the strong on the weak, which is the characteristic of dictatorships. also proclaims with emphasis and gravity the director.

“Diversity” is therefore a real “passion” at the WCY where “everyone has their place, whatever their background” provided they share the “values” of the establishment which are: “Honesty, curiosity, rigor , enthusiasm, passion for news and journalism”. At the WCY, let it be said, we consider that “the human being is a fundamental value” undoubtedly unlike other structures where the passion for the inhuman predominates.

Very beautiful professions of faith, however somewhat mistreated in reality if we are to believe some former students.

The Catholic religion excludes teachings?

Thus Marc, who attended the school during the 2010s, explains to us that if he never felt “explicit” ideological pressure, he nevertheless very quickly understood that it was more prudent to hide his Catholic faith. and not to express “right-wing” political views. An impression confirmed by the “Religions” training sessions where presentations lasting several hours were devoted to Islam and Judaism but none to Catholicism, which nevertheless remains, officially at least, the majority religion in France. An absence whose strangeness will prove to be reinforced by the “oriented” nature of these teachings.

“Honestly, the course felt more like an Islamic promotion lesson than anything else. The teacher, for example, defended the Islamic veil, in an absolutely partisan way, and had defended Émilie König2 body and soul” explains Marc in particular, specifying that this presentation had sparked “debates” with students who were somewhat taken aback, although very little suspect of “Islamophobia”.

What is more, as part of this course, the students had been brought to meet Imam Abdelfattah Rahhaoui who had presented to them his vision of Islam and society for more than an hour, without contradiction. Imam Rahhaoui is nevertheless a controversial man, having been sentenced in 2016 to a four-month suspended prison sentence for non-compliant teaching within his Muslim school outside the Al Badr contract (before being released on appeal in 2018). “He had notably criticized secularism with virulence, and in particular Manuel Valls” remembers Marc who had then tried to recall the requirement of neutrality before being interrupted by the professor, without being supported by his comrades.

“Diverse” students, but all on the left!

If the pluralism of “profiles” and “courses” is promoted to the point of passion, that of political convictions and ideological orientations seems, on the other hand, once again, totally absent. Thus, according to Marc, of the 36 members of his class, 34 were clearly assertive on the left, the last two remaining cautiously evasive about their convictions so as not to risk harming their studies. In such a context, all newspapers considered to be right-wing – even the very liberal and moderate Figaro – were excluded from the school universe, students swearing only by the left-wing press and far left, trend Rue89 and Mediapart.

Quite naturally, following the acquisition, in 2016, of i>Télé by the Canal+ group led by Vincent Bolloré, and its transformation into Cnews, the students were unanimously mobilized against what could only be an intolerable attack on the “journalistic freedom”, this being confused in their minds with the unchallenged hegemony of liberal-libertarian ideology.

With such training and such ideological blinders, there is no doubt that WCY students have a good chance of landing an internship or a position at the very well-meaning Dépêche du midi, the major regional daily in the hands of the Baylet family.

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