Hervé Bourges, great figure of the French audiovisual and fervent defender of the Francophonie, died Sunday at the age of 86 years. He died in a Paris hospital, surrounded by his wife and relatives, said Olivier Zegna-Rata, who was his chief of staff at the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA).
Journalist, successive boss of the television channels TF1, France 2 and France 3, and radio (RFI), Hervé Bourges had been at the head of the CSA from 1995 to 2001. Besides his eminent roles in the media, Hervé Bourges was also a anti-colonialist activist during the Algerian war, a lover of Africa and a fervent defender of the French-speaking world.
“We who admired him, appealed to him, have counted many times on his invaluable assistance, his opinions on the media or on the rule of law, are deeply saddened“, Tweeted Michaelle Jean, who was in particular UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti (2010-2014) and Secretary General of La Francophonie (2014-2018).
For his part, the former boss of Radio France and the National Audiovisual Institute Mathieu Gallet paid tribute on Twitter to the man “demanding and fair“. “Hervé Bourges, it was Algeria, it was Africa, it was the French-speaking world, it was journalism, it was public broadcasting, it was all broadcasting. It was a conscience. I liked his look on the world and on men“, he added.
Born May 2, 1933 in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine, north-west), Hervé Bourges graduated from the Lille School of Journalism (ESJ) in 1955. His life was then a long journey between media, politics and same diplomacy, a time French ambassador to Unesco. He had signed in 2012 a last documentary “Algeria to the test of power», With the director Jérôme Sesquin.