Known for his anti-colonialist positions during the Algerian War, Hervé Bourges was notably the successive patron of the channels TF1, France 2 and France 3, as well as radio RFI.
Hervé Bourges, a great figure in the French audiovisual sector and a fervent defender of the French-speaking world, died on Sunday 23rd February 2020 at the age of 86, we learned from relatives. 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 an 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 notably sent Unesco Special for Haiti (2010-2014) and Secretary-General of La Francophonie (2014-2018).
#HervéBourges La rumeur de son décès a circulé, été démentie, la voici confirmée. Nous qui l’admirions, avons fait appel à lui, pu maintes fois compter sur son inestimable concours, ses avis sur les médias ou sur l’état de droit sommes profondément peinés https://t.co/UYyyupHSgZ
— Michaëlle Jean (@MichaelleJeanF) February 24, 2020
For his part, the former boss of Radio France and the National Audiovisual Institute Mathieu Gallet paid tribute on Twitter to the “demanding and fair” man. “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 how he looked at the world and at men, ”he added.
Hervé Bourges c’était l’Algérie, c’était l’Afrique, c’était la francophonie, c’était le journalisme, c’était l’audiovisuel public, c’était tout l’audiovisuel. C’était une conscience. J’aimais son regard sur le monde et sur les hommes. Exigeant et juste. https://t.co/MgpiPzIidA
— Mathieu Gallet (@mathieu_gallet) February 24, 2020
Born May 2nd, 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 in the test of power”, with the director Jérôme Sesquin.