Le Monde | • Updated | By
” This is a debacle, a huge mistake “, loose Michèle Leridon, Information Director of AFP, after erroneous announcement of the death of Martin Bouygues, Saturday, Feb. 28.
What has happened? A triple error seems to be the origin of the “fault” , as described Emmanuel Hoog, CEO of the agency
First Act. Saturday medium day at the agency’s headquarters in Paris, would have reached a news of the deaths in Orne, CEO of Bouygues. The origin of this information is not known.
Immediately, Chief Editor alert the different services concerned and contacted his office in Rennes, to which the Orne department, to verify this information .
Rennes while phoning journalists seeking confirmation. This is how they come into contact with Michel Julien, the mayor of Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon (Orne), a neighboring town of La Roche-Mabile where the CEO has a residence.
If then produced an astonishing confusion. Asked if Martin Bouygues was dead, the mayor would have answered, the agency said, yes. In this exchange, the confusion is due to the fact that the mayor was referring to the death of another person, whose name is “Martin.”
On BFM-TV, the mayor of Saint-Denis- on-Sarthon denied that “Bouygues ‘name was mentioned: ” The reporter said,’ Mr. Martin died ‘, I said’ yes’ “, explaining that a man he knew well, but that had nothing to do with the industrialist, had actually died this morning. “I am very surprised, I did not know you spoke of Martin Bouygues’ , he added.
HUMILIATING “NOTE TO CUSTOMERS”
Rennes The office then sends the Paris headquarters his dispatch strength of this local source. It is immediately published on the son, not looking for another confirmation. “Obviously it would have taken at that time, wait for confirmation of the Bouygues group” , says Michele Leridon, reminiscent of the usual sources for this information are the setting or . communication services
16 hours, AFP is forced to send a humiliating “note to clients’ ” Please do not take into account any series of dispatches (alert, urgent, LEAD and 2ELEAD) on the announcement of the death of erroneously Martin Bouygues. “ Meanwhile, alerts body resonance and tweets already widespread.
” The basic writing rules in this type of situation, and the procedures validation will be retrieved , said Michele Léridon. The reputation of the agency is primarily based on reliability. We, in everyday life, everything to it is not tainted by such malfunctions. “