Journalists irked over TF1 reporter's firing

Florence Schaal erroneously reported boy's death

PARIS -- French journalists are up in arms over private network TF1's firing of news reporter Florence Schaal on Tuesday.

Schaal erroneously reported on the network's evening news that a young boy missing from the Drome region had died.

Gallic journalists' union the SDJ protested TF1's decision Wednesday in a statement, blaming TF1 for "reducing a career of more than 30 years to 35 seconds on the air" and called the move "a disproportionate sanction."

Schaal told reporters that "it is evident that I am being used as a scapegoat."

Schaal's departure is just one of many abrupt changes in the Gallic news sector; last week, France 24's editorial director Gregoire Deniau and editor in chief Bertrand Coq were both dismissed from their posts suddenly.

TF1 is undergoing a complete restructuring, having recently appointed a new head of news programming, Jean-Claude Dassier, and pledging to spend 133 million euros ($195 million) to merge its six production arms into one entity.