France 24 has denied its intention to hire Rania al-Zanoon, a former Syrian television presenter known for providing propaganda to the Syrian regime for years. This came after a widespread condemnation campaign in the past two days by Syrians and French, as well as researchers and journalists interested in Syrian affairs.
After messages on the network’s french public sector management websites, France 24 denied –in an internal message posted on Twitter on Wednesday– that it intended to hire Zanoon as a reporter in Damascus.
“France 24 condemns the rumours that the Arab section may cooperate with journalist Rania Zanoon,” said the statement published by France 24 correspondent Antoine Mariotti. He continued: “Aware of the questions raised by the spread of this news, France 24’s management explains that Ms. Rania Zanoon, who works as a correspondent for the Spanish news agency EFE, made interventions on the Arabic Channel as a guest without receiving any financial compensation.” He noted that none of the French network’s guests receive financial compensation for their appearance on its programmes.
Zanoon, a former anchor of the Syrian news channel al-Ikhbaria, who has accompanied the Syrian regime’s army for years, posted a picture of her on her Personal Facebook account from an office showing the slogans “France 24.” She later told local media that she was waiting for the necessary security approvals to begin her work as a certified correspondent for the French Arabic-speaking channel from Damascus. She also said that the French channel had written an official letter to the Ministry of Information.
This provoked a widespread outcry, as social media users revealed tweets by Zanoon implicitly calling for more bombings of Syrian cities by the Syrian army.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.