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French President Macron Says 'Not Interested in Journalists'

Addressing them while visiting a school in eastern France, Macron said the media should be reporting on the 12 million school children returning to their classes, rather than asking about him.

Reuters

Updated:September 10, 2017, 11:27 PM IST
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French President Macron Says 'Not Interested in Journalists'
French President Emmanuel Macron visits a school in Forbach, Eastern France, September 4, 2017 on the first school day of the year. Image: Reuters

Forbach, France: French President Emmanuel Macron accused French journalists of being "too interested in themselves" on Monday amid criticism by some media groups of his decision to give few interviews.

"I'm not interested in journalists, I'm interested in the French people, that's what you need to understand," Macron replied when asked why he "spoke so little" by French television reporters on Monday.

Addressing them while visiting a school in eastern France, Macron said the media should be reporting on the 12 million school children returning to their classes, rather than asking about him.

"But journalists have a problem. They are too interested in themselves and not enough in the country. Let's talk about the French people," he added.

Macron's approval ratings have fallen sharply since his election in May -- only 30-40 percent of voters view him favourably, according to polls -- with some analysts seeing his aloof style as one of the reasons.

The 39-year-old had promised before his election to keep his distance from the media and avoid being caught up in day-to-day politics, seeing his job as presenting a long-term vision for the country.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner admitted at the end of August that the government had had "difficulties" in explaining its priorities in the first months in office.

On August 29, Macron also named a spokesman, former journalist Bruno Roger-Petit, seen as recognition that he needed someone to amplify his message in the media.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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