February 2015


Qui est Charlie?


Press freedom, radicalism & the impact of Paris’s recent tragedy

On January 7, two gunmen entered the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, starting a series of shootings that led to 17 deaths throughout the Paris region. The deadliest act of terror France has seen in more than a half century – what Le Monde called “France’s 9/11” – shocked France and the world. Reactions to and debates about the events have been heated, raising a number of questions about French society, as well as broader questions concerning freedom of the press and free speech, in France and abroad.

On February 18, the French-American Foundation will bring together a panel of leading French and American experts, including journalists and First Amendment experts, to discuss varying reactions to the shootings and the long-term impact this horrific act will have on France, Europe, and the United States. 

Our speakers will give their perspectives on the events, the reactions they have generated, and discuss what Sylvie Kauffmann recently described as an “assault on French identity”. Kauffmann will provide an analysis of the social and political context of French satirical media such as Charlie Hebdo, as well as a French perspective on the attacks and ensuing questions of free speech and freedom of the press. Floyd Abrams will provide his expertise of American First Amendment law to show how press freedom and free speech are interpreted differently in the two nations. Bret Stephens will share his perspective on the events from the United States.

Watch full coverage of this discussion by C-SPAN here


Floyd Abrams

Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, and nationally recognized expert on First Amendment law

Sylvie Kauffmann

Editorial Director, Columnist, and former Editor-in-Chief, Le Monde, and Contributing Writer, The New York Times

Michael Oreskes

Senior Managing Editor, The Associated Press

Bret Stephens

Pulitzer Prize-winning Foreign-Affairs Columnist, and Deputy Editorial Page Editor, The Wall Street Journal


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