Why is Ouest-France interested in overseas territories?
It is not the Overseas Territories in particular but rather a concern to cover and tell in Ouest-France all the territories of France, therefore the Overseas Territories. Of course, beyond our strong roots in the West and our historical areas of Brittany, Normandy and the Pays de la Loire, we have always kept an important place in news from all French regions and the international. For the Overseas Territories, our interest is also explained by the links forged over centuries between our Western regions and the overseas departments and regions. The Bretons and the Normans are great travelers and many went to work beyond the oceans. We obviously think of the Newfoundlanders who went fishing in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and on the banks of Newfoundland.
How does this follow-up materialize in your columns and on your site?
This follow-up is indeed supported in our print version and it is even more echoed on our site which, today, is one of the most consulted general information sites in France. 70% of our online readers are not residents of so-called historic areas. This means that we reach a large number of French people from France and overseas. Explaining what is happening in Polynesia, the West Indies, Mayotte, Reunion… is as necessary to understand the world as what is happening in Finistère! And in economic matters, there are precisely a lot of realities and initiatives to be made better known. Covering the Overseas Territories in all their dimension and strategic assets remains a priority so as not to stop at just the beautiful postcards of white sand beaches and coconut palms that these territories too often refer to in the media.
What editorial tools do you have to support this follow-up?
We have put in place several tools to try to feed this ultramarine DNA. Already, for six years, we have been supporting the project of Valérie Parlan, one of our collaborating journalists, herself having roots in Overseas France, to produce series of reports in the territories. These are long immersions to understand the daily life of overseas from the social, educational, historical, political, economic point of view… Because once again, if these lands represent for many images of exotic holidays, we are committed to going well. beyond. To make heard the voice of the 2.5 million French people who are born there, work, innovate, cultivate and cultivate themselves, receive treatment there, settle there, train… We have also set up a network of correspondents in the most of the territories who come to shed light on the news and we deploy teams of journalists when there are major news events, such as last year in New Caledonia on the occasion of the third referendum. So the organization of these meetings was relevant in this panel of levers to make the Overseas Territories a solid editorial anchor.
Read also: A second edition of the Overseas Economic Conference on the theme « Doing business together » on December 6
What is the purpose of these Assizes?
Ouest-France has had expertise in events for years. We want to create forums for sharing and spaces for debate as an extension of our newspaper on major social issues. We have been at the origin of the Assises de l’économie de la mer for 17 years, those of Fisheries and Seafood, Agriculture and Food since 2016, not forgetting the automobile, etc. It is the idea of bringing together, for a day or two, the actors of these sectors and territories. For the Overseas Territories, we wanted to offer our community of readers a different approach to the territories. Choosing the economic prism makes it possible to approach and present incredible know-how too often in the background because the flow of news relays more what does not work or works less well in the territories. We talk more regularly about social, migratory and climatic crises than about the thousands of entrepreneurs and employees who work daily to ensure that the Overseas Territories maintain their attractiveness, their competitiveness and their uniqueness in the French economic landscape.
How was the program for the 2022 edition designed?
It is obviously difficult to make a choice of the themes addressed. One day is not enough to try to tell this richness in all its complexity! So we have selected eight major topics related to the news. We will, for example, look at economic policies in a particularly tense social and institutional context. How can investors be motivated to create and maintain activity in certain regions where tensions are sometimes high? We will also discuss environmental issues in the maritime sector, the challenges of energy transition and food autonomy, the need for more responsible tourism, the housing and employment crisis, public transport but also of culture and identity… The goal, in accordance with the editorial line of Ouest-France, is to decipher current issues, simply, rigorously and at the level of the women and men who build territories.
Who will be the speakers of the debates?
We make a point of mixing the speeches, to cross the expertises and the experiments, to make debate. This is why we have invited business leaders, players in local economies, heads of employers’ organisations, but also elected officials, experts, researchers… Because « Doing business together », as we have titled this edition, is only possible if entrepreneurial, social, political and technical skills are combined.
Why is this 100% digital format preferred?
Last year, in the midst of the Covid health crisis, it was impossible to create an event in colloquium mode with a stage and the public. So we imagined this formula of a TV show from a studio in Paris which allowed the reception of guests in limited numbers but also video meetings with overseas residents who could not move. The other advantage was to offer everyone, wherever they are, to follow our exchanges live and free of charge since we relayed the live on the site’s platform and then made it available for replay. In the end, this formula won over, so we decided to renew it in 2023. The program format offers the possibility of not remaining in the midst of the ultramarines of Paris and of giving the floor to the actors of the territories as much as possible.
How were Outremers 360° and other media associated with the Assises?
From the first edition, it seemed obvious to us to surround ourselves with the editorial skills of colleagues who are interested in the Overseas Territories or are specialists and real information relays like you at Outremers360°. There is no competition between us because each tells the territories according to its editorial choices, its editorial means, its favorite subjects, its hearts of targets. Our looks are really complementary. We will also be supported by the editorial staff of 20 minutes (Editor’s note, property of the Rossel and Ouest-France group) and the France-Antilles group, which will also be organizing the round table on tourism from Guadeloupe.
(1): The Assises are organized by the Ouest-France group, the sailor but also by the Ilago agency and in partnership with the FEDOM, the French Maritime Cluster and the Overseas Ministry.
(2) The program on https://economieoutremer.ouest-france.fr/les-assies/