I am curious. And I like mystery.

I am wondering about this media company in France which our Information minister visited recently and came back to advise us on the need to classify bloggers into two categories i.e. professional and non-professional, based on his discussions with the top guy in Nice-Martin press group, Mr Michel Camboul.

We do not know the circumstances of this meeting, of course. Whether it was a meeting of mutual interests i.e. the future of press freedom or information dissemination or new methods of reaching the reading public, and we probably never will.

Much has been printed in the local media on how ZM has been able to obtain this brilliant idea of classification from a french source. We do know where ZM is coming from with his proposal but what do we know about from where or whom he got it from.

So, who is the Nice-Martin press group? To be exact, it should be the Groupe Nice-Matin.

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All media companies are rated in one form or another, therefore, let’s have a look at the Mondo Times Media Ratings, shall we.

MTMR’s survey as at 8th May ’07 provide us with the following lists specifically on major french medias covering newspaper, magazine, radio and television mediums.

News: Agence France Presse, Courrier France, Courrier International, Europe 1, International Herald Tribune, L’Express, L’Humanite, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Le Nouvel Obserteur, Liberation, Quest France, Point, Radio France Internationale, Reuters France.

Business: Challenges, EPN World Report, International Cosmetique News, Invester, La Tribune, Le Revenue, Les Echos.

There are other sections catering to entertainment, sports, science and society which I believe is irrelevant for our purpose.

You do not find Nice-Matin in the list above, do you. Here’s MTMR’s rating on Nice-Matin:

Content: not yet rated. Political bias: not yet rated. Credibility: not yet rated.

Our information minister has placed a lot of emphasis on responsibility, integrity, credibility and so forth in his efforts to regulate bloggers but I find it rather condescending of him to do so from a position totally lacking in authority and/or substance.

Maybe he had a cup of cappucino with Michel Camboul at a roadside cafe in Nice, admiring the view, soaking up the frenchy ambience and the idea sort of popped up in his head. Something to tell the boss on what he did in Nice, France.

# Please do not bother yourself to check the Nice-Matin website because it’s in french only. And they do have a ‘blog’ section.