Eight months after his departure, Stéphan Bureau breaks the silence

Eight months after having put an end, in the controversy, to the contract which bound him with Radio-Canada, Stéphan Bureau is breaking his silence and his long professional break. The journalist is preparing his own television show, which he describes as a news talk show allowing unusual encounters on the small screen.

Last May, Stéphan Bureau conducted an interview with the controversial French infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult on his show Of course aired on ICI Première. In July, the Radio-Canada ombudsman declared that the interview had violated Radio-Canada journalist standards and practices. On August 20, Stéphan Bureau left the station after publicly replying to the ombudsman who had criticized him for not having sufficiently “framed” his guest’s remarks. He has not worked since.

“I think that says something about our great time: the choice of words I had at the time, says the one who had no project in front of him when he left Radio-Canada. It was a banal interview, ordinary as I have done plenty in my life, in a context that is not. It took on extraordinary proportions. »

In an interview, the experienced journalist assures us that nothing that happened this summer had any impact on his contractual fate. He explains that he received offers from Radio-Canada before and after his interview with Didier Raoult, including one just a few weeks ago. It was the disputes “in the order of private relations between employer and employee” that he had last spring that made him decide to say goodbye to his listeners.

“A lot of what I was doing ruffled some people,” he says. I know that there was a deep discomfort by my guests, by my questions, and at that time, for me the pay was not a reason to hang on and especially not to compromise, I mean compared to me. It’s a very big bereavement, because the price to pay is to stop doing something you love to do in life, to deprive yourself of a platform and the pleasure of working with people. »

But the facilitator is aware that society is changing. “Nowadays there is a thin line between being bold and being toxic. I don’t have in me the idea of ​​provoking for the sake of provoking. The corridor of comfort in our media universe is quite narrow. Is it possible to push back the walls a bit and extend the space? »

The preparation of this non-traditional news program represents the host’s first professional gesture in eight months. “I hope it will be a plural place where we can find, in the seats of the guests, all kinds of points of view,” he says. Including, perhaps sometimes, points of view that are less frequent on the air. All with a view to hearing people we no longer hear, or not, and questions we don’t ask. We want to complement the current information offer in Quebec. »

His wishes? Manage to be demanding without being complacent, a little drooling on occasion (“in what it can be nice to be”, he says) and above all, to always refuse to judge his guests in advance. If the minutiae will be issued by press release in ten days, we understand that it is not on the Radio-Canada antenna that we will find the host.

“I’m not elsewhere to be in opposition to Radio-Canada or to settle accounts, I don’t have that in me. I’m somewhere else because I think after what we went through, it was clear that what I hoped to do would not happen there. I insist however, there is no bitterness. »


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