19 Mar 2013

Journalists strike at New Caledonia's only newspaper

2:50 pm on 19 March 2013

Journalists at New Caledonia's only daily newspaper have gone on strike to express their disquiet at the alleged sale of the paper to local business people.

Last year, the Nouvelles Caledoniennes was bought by a French businessman, Bernard Tapie, and the Hersant family, who jointly spent 68 million US dollars to acquire a range of papers across France and its overseas territories.

They were sold by the Groupe Hersant Media, which had already shed its dailies in French Polynesia, to pay off debts.

Although there is no official confirmation, the journalists say the business has been bought by a local wholesaler, a car distributor, a nickel company and an engineering business linked to the centre-right politicians.

The journalists say they still fear a loss of what they see as their hard won editorial independence.