Monday 6 October 2014 - Eye witness
Jean-Paul Sartre's "non" to the Nobel Prize in 1964 is one of the best-known incidents in the Nobel history. "First question to ask yourself when writing about a 50-year-old event: what happened exactly ?", explains AFP Stockholm correspondent Hugues Honoré. "In this particular case, when and how did the French existentialist philosopher learn he had won the Nobel ? When and how did he announce he refused it ?"
After tedious research, Hugues finds out that Sartre's refusal was an AFP scoop. A very young reporter, François de Closets, found the philosopher at a restaurant, respectfully waited for him and Simone de Beauvoir to finish their lunch, then broke the news.
Wednesday 16 July 2014 - Eye witness
What happens when too many journalists are trying to nab the same information at the same time? AFP's Roland de Courson gives an insight into the media scrum.
(AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)
Friday 13 June 2014 - Behind the image
London-based AFP photographer Leon Neal this month covered the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. This is a version of his blog that first appeared on his personal site.
Tuesday 3 June 2014 - Decoding
More accustomed to covering riots, trials and drug stories in the Parisian suburbs than tracking VIPs, AFP reporters Estelle Emonet and Nathalie Alonso suddenly found themselves hunting for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West when speculation reached fever pitch that the celebrity couple would celebrate their wedding in France.
(Photo: AFP / Kenzo Tribouillard)
Wednesday 20 November 2013 - Behind the image
A young woman in northern Italy protesting the construction of a high–speed rail cutting through the French-Italian Alps kisses the Plexiglas visor of a policeman in full riot gear. The officer is immobilised just long enough for AFP photographer Marco Bertorello to capture the moment.
Friday 8 November 2013 - Eye witness
AFP photographer Philippe Desmazes recently completed an assignment embedded with the French army in remote northern Mali, where a war against Islamist insurgents continues. His visit to the desert coincided with the deaths of two colleagues from Radio France Internationale, who were killed in Kidal.
Monday 4 November 2013 - Eye witness
Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, two journalists with Radio France Internationale (RFI), were found dead Saturday after being kidnapped in Mali's troubled northeast. They were on their way to interview a spokesman for the Tuareg separatist group in the rebel stronghold of Kidal when they were abducted outside his home. AFP journalist Jean-Pierre Campagne, who knew Dupont well after covering the fall of Mobutu in Zaire in 1997, pays tribute to a slain colleague.
Saturday 19 October 2013 - Eye witness
AFP journalist Frederic Dumoulin wanted, in the worst possible way, to interview Catherine Deneuve. Indeed, he's been preparing for that moment for 20 years. So the French screen legend's impending 70th birthday seemed like the perfect occasion to finally do the deed. Here, the story of his quest.
Wednesday 4 September 2013 - Behind the image
When a “kill” increases life expectancy
The Internet has been abuzz, at least in France, ever since AFP transmitted this photo of French President Francois Hollande to clients on Tuesday, then quickly issued a “Mandatory Kill” order retracting it because it was deemed to be gratuitously unflattering to the president.
Immediately, AFP was accused of censorship and of having tried to suppress the photo on the direct order of the presidential office. This was not the case (otherwise we would not be republishing the image here.) Having said that, with the benefit of hindsight we see that the decision to retract the photo was clearly an error. AFP's Global News Director Philippe Massonnet describes what happened.
Saturday 6 July 2013 - Eye witness
This year’s Tour de France, currently winding its way across the country, is the 100th in the event’s history. AFP’s cycling writer Jean Montois has covered the last 30 races -- never missing a single stage. Here he looks back at what perhaps will come to be known as the Tour's darkest hour, the era of doping.
Thursday 27 June 2013 - Eye witness
This year’s Tour de France, which begins June 29 on the French island of Corsica, is the event’s 100th race. AFP’s cycling writer Jean Montois has covered the last 30 of these –- never missing a single stage. He’s had a front-row view of the Tour's biggest stories, including a tragic accident and the doping scandals that continue to dog the event to this day.
Tuesday 14 May 2013 - Debriefing
Journalists do a lot of waiting in Cannes. Until we rush frantically like someone trying to catch the last train to Salvation. Then we wait some more. And that’s the way it is during the world’s most glam film festival: bouts of downtime punctuated by adrenaline-pumping excitement of the highest caliber. Anne Chaon, AFP's cinema correspondent until earlier this year, looks back on what it's like to cover Cannes.
Monday 6 May 2013 - Behind the image
AFP Photo/Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Armstrong: The Bernie Madoff of sport
"Armstrong cheated the Tour de France, the fans, the media, all those who believed his performances were for real and, worst of all, he betrayed his sport." So writes former Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc in a new book, published this week, on the event he oversaw from 1989 to 2005. "He will go down as the Bernard Madoff of sport."
Wednesday 24 April 2013 - Eye witness
AFP’s Tokyo bureau chief Jacques Lhuillery heads to the French ambassador’s home to meet famed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, who is returning to the musical scene after a long absence to fight cancer. (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)
Monday 15 April 2013 - Eye witness
French President Francois Hollande is under fire for a tax-fraud scandal and a moribund economy, but there is at least one place he can turn to for steadfast support: Mali. AFP’s Stephane Jourdain finds a wave of pro-French fervor in the former French colony, where French troops are leading a military offensive against Islamist rebels who less than a year ago controlled half of the country. (AFP Photo/John MacDougall)
Sunday 7 April 2013 - Eye witness
Two years ago Agnes Dupont de Logonnes and her four children, aged 13 to 20, were killed – shots to the body and head -- and then buried on the family property in Nantes, western France. The quintuple murder, still unsolved, has haunted the country ever since. Correspondent Alexandra Turcat, who covered the story for AFP, looks back. (AFP Photo/Jean-Sebastien Evard)
Thursday 4 April 2013 - Behind the image
AFP Photo/Fred Dufour
Femen gets a kick in the pants (but not on Facebook)
Rarely a week goes by without a Femen protest somewhere in world. Originating in Ukraine five years ago, the expanding network of feminist activists bare their breasts – often inscribed with slogans – to champion women’s rights or decry corruption and what they see as repressive religious institutions and dogma. This week, the Grand Mosque of Paris was on their hit list. The AFP photo above circulated widely on the Internet, generating a lot of 'shares' and comments on AFP's French-language Facebook page. Until, that is, Facebook yanked it.
Tuesday 26 March 2013 - Eye witness
Infested with rats and beset with chronic violence, the Baumettes prison in the southern port city of Marseille leapt onto France’s front pages in December after a shocking government report -- complete with photos -- was made public. AFP correspondent Wafaa Essalhi and AFP photographer Anne-Christine Poujoulat got a first-hand view. (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)
Wednesday 20 March 2013 - Behind the image
AFP Photo/K. Tribouillard
Desert patrol: Tracking Islamists in Mali
"Scorching heat from above (the sun) and below (stones); black rocks so jagged they rip the military apparel on the soldiers with whom I am embedded; soot-like sand so invasive it sears my eyes and jams their guns; an enemy – never visible, always nearby – hell-bent on carrying out a holy war." This is how AFP photographer Kenzo Tribouillard describes the mountainous region along the Mali-Algeria border where he followed French troops tracking Islamist fighters. Here are his photos, and his report.
Thursday 14 March 2013 - Eye witness
Tay Garnett. The name may not ring a bell, but you've surely seen at least one of the dozens of movies he made during Hollywood's golden age. "The Postman Always Rings Twice", perhaps? During a five-decade career, Garnett worked with Dietrich, Harlow, Heywood, Monroe, Bogart, Gable, Taylor, Mitchum and dozens of other single-name stars. And as a swan song, he compiled testimonials from the 20th century's greatest directors in a book as remarkable for what's between the covers as its back-story. (Photo/Tiela Garnett)