Journalist Michele Cotta meets the Press in Monaco

Michele Cotta guest of the Monaco Press Club

Michele Cotta, the well known French political journalist and writer, was the guest of the Monaco Press Club for an interactive interview at the Yacht Club in the presence of Ambassador Henri Fissore members of the Monaco National Council, representatives of the association Femmes Leaders Monaco and members of the Press.

An exceptional professional career

It is difficult to summarize the brilliant career of this accomplished writer and journalist, but I will try my best. Graduated from the Institute of Political Studies of Paris with a doctorate in political sciences, this remarkable woman started her carrier at the publication Combat where she succeeded in interviewing Francois Miterrand after  L’Observatoire affair, and afterwards worked at L’Express. Later on she collaborated with the magazine Le Point, France Inter and RTL where she became chief editor in 1980.  She had been president of Radio France, information director of TF1 and general director of France 2. She is also author of several political essays; “The Secrets of a Victory”, “Political Circus” and “The Presidential Secret Diaries”. She was also president of the Committee of TV History (CHTV) from 2003 to 2008. She has hosted the televised debates of the second tour of French presidential elections in 1988 together with Jean Boissonnat and afterwards with Elie Vannier. At present she teaches at the School of Journalism and Political Sciences, and notably is vice-president of channel TNT IDF1 where she hosts a political program that bears her name. She received the political book award for the second volume of “Secrets Diaries of the Fifth Republic” and in April 2012 she was part of the Jury in the program aired by France 4, “Who wants to become president?

In the hearts of words

Under the general theme “Women and Ambitions: Education questions”, Michele Cotta gave us an interesting account of her exceptional professional career and provided her strong point of view over different current affairs. She could not avoid being questioned about the recent Hollande-Gayet liaison and affirmed that public figures need to understand that by definition being public runs opposite to enjoying privacy. The journalist’s presence in Monaco had as main objective to discuss her active involvement in the publication by the Parisian editing house Cherche Midi of the French language book “Aux Coeurs des Mots – les enfants du monde racontent” (that would translate to “In the Hearts of Words – the children of the world tell their story“), from a project developed by the association Femmes Leaders Mondiales Monaco – under the auspices of the OIF International Organization of La Francophonie (1), based on the notion of the equality between men and women. Michel Cotta confessed that she had been seduced by the idea from the beginning and was totally convinced of the importance of the project when, as part of the Jury, she read the stories written by children between 10 and 13 years old from 19 countries. She considered the narrative “poetic literature done with imagination”, and together with the other 11 other members of the Jury (2), she shared their enthusiasm for the style, scenario and creativity, each telling their stories from their particular experience in their own countries and culture. According to Michel Cotta “Children are well aware of all the problems, they are conscious of their reality, and their stories strive for harmony, where everything finds its place.” The book will for sale to the public from March 6 this year, and the prize ceremony for the winners will take place during the Gala organized by FLMM on March 20 at the Fairmont Hotel Monte-Carlo, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert, members of the prestigious Jury and other distinguished personalities. It fits perfectly as March 20 marks the International Day of the Francophonie.

Educate to change the mentality

When Michel Cotta was prompted to give her views on the parity man-woman, she emphasized the need to change the mentality, that curiously happens to be the motto of the Femmes Leaders writing contest “Educate to change the mentality”. She believes we are certainly evolving in this aspect, but unfortunately it goes very slowly, and added that women still have to work twice harder and always control their emotions to be taken seriously.  She added that we are still far from the deserved equality we envision but we keep advancing on the right direction anyway. The journalist will return to Monaco to participate in the for the 2nd World Congress of Femmes Leaders, March 19-21 at the Fairmont Hotel.

(1) Some interesting facts about French language listed by the OIF

▪                220 million French speakers worldwide

▪                French is the 9th most widely spoken language on the planet,
 and the only one, together with English, to be spoken on all five continents.

▪                60% of French speakers are under 30 years old. 

▪                French is the 3rd most widely used language on the Web with 5% of Internet pages, after English (45%) and German (7%) and ahead of Spanish (4.5%).

▪                900,000 French teachers worldwide 

▪                96.2 million French-speakers in Africa

(2) The members of the exceptional Jury: Andre Azoulay, Michele Cotta, Brigitte Fossey, Antoine de Maximy, Thierry Dusautoir, Chaterine Maurnory, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, Aldo Romano, Jacques Salome, Marjane Satrapi, Philippe Streiff et Bernard Werber.


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