It was with immense sadness that the Agency’s journalists learned on Tuesday May 4 of the death of Michèle Léridon, 62, AFP’s Global News Director between 2014 and 2019. During her 37-year career at AFP, she left her mark on the newsroom through her warmth, her intellect and the considerable legacy she left through reforming the Agency, as well as her battle on behalf of women and against misinformation. At the Agency’s daily news conference, current Global News Direction Phil Chetwynd emphasised the “force” that characterised her and her “clarity” when it came to ethical issues in the digital era. She draw up the AFP Charter and our sourcing guidelines that remain the Agency’s benchmark today.
We are today republishing this blog originally written in 2014 that perfectly reflects the finesse with which she tackled ethical questions. The piece was written at a time when journalists were increasingly being captured and killed and when Islamic State propaganda – each worse than the last – was being widely disseminated, leading AFP to change our working methods and guidelines.