Almost every national newspaper in London had the latest Franco-British skirmish on the front page, while not a single French national daily found it interesting enough for coverage.
France Info radio, the 24-hour news station where much of the country is kept up to date on what’s going on at home and abroad, didn’t even bother to mention the rights dispute. post-Brexit fishery in a noon Thursday bulletin.
The dispute was taken very seriously by the French and British governments, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson sending two gunboats into Jersey waters as French fishing vessels gathered there to protest the new rules on places and places. times when they can fish.
France followed suit by sending two of its own coastal patrol vessels, with the country’s Minister for Europe, Clément Beaune, declaring: “We will not be intimidated by these maneuvers.”
But there was a yawning gulf between the way history was covered on either side of the English Channel.
British newspaper readers could be forgiven for thinking that the events in the sea near Jersey’s capital, St. Helier, were the start of a full-scale war.
While British coverage thundered on “gunboats” and “war”, the French media were generally more sober than their British counterparts.
Only a handful of French journalists were sent to the region to cover the events, while a French television commentator noted that there were more British journalists than fishing boats at the scene.
The worldThe headline headline was also emotionless, simply stating that 50 French fishing boats were protesting near Saint Helier.
Early Thursday afternoon at that time British media were enthused by a French boat crashing into a British boat in Jersey waters, the tabloid The Parisian had deleted the story from the main page of its website.
The parallels with the coverage of the migrant crisis in and around the port of Calais in northern France are striking.
Before the notorious “Jungle” refugee camp was finally dismantled in 2016, the British media, especially the tabloids, regularly broadcast alarmist articles about the threat to the United Kingdom.
Readers would have often been forgiven for thinking that England was about to be invaded by migrants massing on the French coast.
But in France, the Jungle and its occupants rarely made headlines and were treated as another long-standing story of poor interest.
The French media may also be more accustomed to spectacular types of events and therefore less inclined to get enthusiastic about such events.
French farmers, for example, have been depositing tons of manure or vegetables in front of town halls for decades when they feel uncomfortable.
And the demonstrations in France are much more regular and more violent than in the United Kingdom, as evidenced by the recent demonstrations of the “yellow vests” during which demonstrators ransacked the Champs-Élysées in Paris, looting shops in the process of road.