Ex-AFP News Chief Michele Leridon Dies


Ex-AFP news chief Michele Leridon dies

Paris, May 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th May, 2021 ) :French journalist Michele Leridon, the first woman appointed as global news director of Agence France-Presse and lately a member of France's Superior Audiovisual Council, has died suddenly at the age of 62, the council said Tuesday.

"A woman of conviction, Michele Leridon was a great journalist, unanimously respected for her rich experience and great intellectual rigour," the council, which oversees France's tv and radio, said in a statement.

A cause of death was not given.

Leridon joined AFP in 1981 and worked there for almost 40 years, holding several positions in Europe and Africa.

She covered conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s, held a number of senior managerial positions in Paris and was bureau chief in Rome from 2009 to 2014.

She was named AFP's global news director in 2014, the first woman to hold the post in the agency's history.

"Michele taught me a huge amount on my arrival at AFP, when she was Global News Director," said CEO Fabrice Fries. "She exemplified the human values I love at the Agency: empathy, curiosity about everything, integrity, judgement and a sense of humour.

She was an extraordinary person, who loved life." "We are all shocked and devastated by the sudden loss of Michele," added Phil Chetwynd, who succeeded Leridon as AFP's global news director.

"She was not only an outstanding journalist, but also a courageous leader of the AFP newsroom who was greatly admired for her honesty and integrity. It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside her." During her tenure as head of editorial, Leridon oversaw the rapid expansion of AFP's video and fact-checking departments, and pushed for a greater representation of women in its production.

During this time, she was also an administrative member of Reporters Without Borders.

She left AFP in early 2019 to join the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA), a small body of experts that guides electronic media including radio and TV.

She played a major role in guiding the CSA's approach to online platforms and social media, and was due to hold the position until 2025.