The French legal system makes a difference between two kinds of journalists: the so-called “professional journalists” or “registered journalists” who can prove that more than half of their revenues are coming from journalism works to obtain la carte de presse (Press card), a professional card – subject to renewal each year; the others – who can’t prove such a situation – don’t hold this card. The card can be delivered and yearly renewed by the CCIJP. This card – attesting to formal membership to the journalistic profession – offers many financial advantages and is granted by a commission equally composed by elected representatives of journalistic and media outlets executives.
Professional journalists are not required to attend any professional or executive training classes in order to update their hands-on practices or acquire new knowledge. French journalists don’t usually apply for executive education by their own, however a public system of vocational education is supposed to enable it. As an illustration news media organisations actually need more qualified journalists in management or in new technologies to support the newsroom organisational change; yet news media executives and journalists are reluctant to apply for training in such topics.
According to the Observatoire des métiers de la presse (Center for Press Occupations), in 2016, journalists holding the carte de presse are more men (53.3 percent) than women (46.7 percent) even though French journalism is becoming a feminised profession. They primarily work for print press (58.2 percent), then for TV channels (16.4 percent), radio stations (9.5 percent), news agencies (9.1 percent) and others (6.8 percent). Up to 73.1 percent of professional journalists are under tenure and full-time employees (with an average salary of €3,549), 3.2 percent have a limited-term position (average salary: €1896) and 18.7 percent are freelance (average salary: €1969). The average age is 44.5 years. On the contrary journalists without the professional card are more part-time and/or freelance.