"There is no neutrality in journalism - but there is honesty!"

"She represents what is best and most indestructible about the journalist profession", declared Dean Bruno Patino in his introduction of Marion Van Renterghem, the special guest at the inaugural lecture of the School of Journalism. "Take your time"; "cultivate honesty and make facts your religion"; these were just some of the pieces of advice she offered to those hoping to follow this '’slightly crazy" career in a world that loves to hate the press.

"Never before has democracy been so threatened, never before has journalism been so denigrated", warned journalist Marion Van Renterghem, speaking before students of the School of Journalism at their inaugural lecture. "Yet the world needs you, the journalists, more than ever,'' she continued, before recounting her path as a renowned reporter, from her time at Le Monde to Vanity Fair, and the numerous revolutions she bore witness to.

"Journalists have lost the monopoly on defining the narrative"

These revolutions were those of a world that had become "more complex", divided by the populism that caricatures the notion of an elite and that of the people. There was also a revolution of the profession itself, one which has "lost the monopoly it had on defining the narrative and its diffusion". "Before, the distinction between who was a journalist, and who was not, was clear. Today, anyone can claim to be a journalist." For the eminent journalist, this is both a challenge and an opportunity: "The emphasis on quality has never been greater. You have to prove to everyone that you are a better storyteller than amateur journalists."

Rewatch the lecture (FR)

To meet this challenge, despite the evolution of technology from notepads to smartphones, she believes in returning to the fundamental values of the profession. "Certain things do not change: journalism is a way of life, a way of looking at things, of understanding without passing judgment." When faced with the need to publish instantly, and with the seduction of generating '’buzz", she advises the new recruits to "take the time to slow down, to listen to all points of view, especially those that differ from yours. In an interview, the first 30 minutes don't matter. It is only towards the end that people begin speaking to you honestly."

"Truthfulness of facts and a just perspective"

Another strength to cultivate, according to her, is style. "Strive towards speaking a clear and beautiful language. For this, you mustn't rely solely on newspapers: my role-models as a writer are Gustave Flaubert and Paul Morand." In addition, "we must understand that neutrality does not exist. No human being is neutral." Worse, "in the name of neutrality we sometimes justify fake news, because facts have begun to lose their sacred nature. You must find out the truthfulness of facts and ensure the perspective is just." To conduct journalism in this evolving world, she concludes that "you must distinguish yourselves from others on the basis of two cardinal virtues: curiosity, and honesty."

Read more

Prof. Kevin Parthenay: “The Romanticism of Latin America”

Prof. Kevin Parthenay: “The Romanticism of Latin America”

Latin America is a continent of writers, of passion, and of revolutions. But that’s not all! In his class “International Relations in Latin America”, Kevin Parthenay invites students on the Poitiers campus to take up a new perspective of this continent that, far from taking a back seat, is at the heart of many global dynamics. 

More
FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO are the first period-proof underwear made in France. When Fanny Abes, at the time a third-year student in Vancouver, met Claudette Lovencin, the idea for the product was born. They are now both Sciences Po graduates. We met with them to speak about their career paths and business.

More
Prof. Marine Denis: the Geopolitics of Climate Change

Prof. Marine Denis: the Geopolitics of Climate Change


What does it mean for a region such as South-East Asia to be simultaneously an agent and a victim of climate change? Or for a country like China to be recognised at once as one of the biggest polluters and one of the pioneers of environmental diplomacy? When large-scale international organisations can decide to survey… or to punish? The debate begins! This way to the “environmental galaxy”, where we find Marine Denis and her brilliant students...

More
The Historic Class of 2020

The Historic Class of 2020

After two years pursuing a Master’s degree or five years pursuing first a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s, the Class of 2020 has obtained their prestigious Sciences Po diploma! But they’ve also accomplished something completely unprecedented: they completed their final semester in the midst of a pandemic. What impact will this historic period have on their lives in the future? Until we find out, here are the profiles of a class unlike any other. Congratulations graduates of the Class of 2020!

More

"From history to herstory": a new look at old galleries

Cécile Fara and Julie Marangé met on the first day of their Master’s degrees at Sciences Po. Together they founded Feminists of Paris, an organisation that offers walking tours and museum visits ‘through the lens of feminism and gender equality’ in Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux. Cécile and Julie spoke to us about their entrepreneurial experiences with Feminists of Paris and how the history of feminism in France resonates today. 

More
Prof. Odile Goerg: On Africa’s complex history

Prof. Odile Goerg: On Africa’s complex history

“The idea is to do away with the myth that Africa had no history before colonisation”. Africa’s long and diverse history comes alive in this class by historian Odile Goerg, a storied traveller of the continent who teaches history armed with a catalogue of hundreds of adventures.

More
Goodbye Plastic, Hello Koovee

Goodbye Plastic, Hello Koovee

A committed ecologist and graduate of Sciences Po in 2015, Tiphaine Guerout has channeled her entrepreneurial ambition towards an environmental cause. She is the founder of Koovee, a startup that offers an alternative to disposable plastic cutlery: forks and spoons made of biscuit, made in France, that have the particularity of being sufficiently resistant so that one can eat with them. Interview with a young graduate who hopes to flood the French and European markets in the years to come.

More