Arrival of the Stephen Bureau: A moving welcome to TVA

Stephen Bureau hasn’t set foot at TVA since he briefly hosted the show Exchanger In the spring of 2006, he began preparations for the next big public affairs meeting on Friday evening, The world is upside down. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but to his surprise, he quickly made everyone realize that he was happy to be home.

• Read more: Stephen Biro’s new show will launch on September 16

• Read more: Discussion to feed the spirits

“Now I have the impression that coming home is a bit boring as a formula because it rarely happens to me, because I see 25-year-olds who I’ve worked there, people who have been there and detoured. Come to see me when we’re working on the pilot. They welcome me very warmly. It’s often. Didn’t happen, I’m really moved by that. I don’t think they’ll remember that we worked together,” says the 58-year-old host.

Although he spent most of his career as a journalist and anchor at Radio-Canada, TVA is really home, notes the man who was the network’s first correspondent in Washington and anchored the final evening bulletin from 1990 to 1997.

Two companies, two different cultures, he points out.

“I had exceptional memories and collaborated with people I really liked [à Radio-Canada], but, for example, when I came back to radio after an absence of 12 years, I never felt like I was coming home. I don’t think it’s personal, I think Radio-Canada is a Spanish inn, which means we always find there what we bring or bring.


His recent departure from Crown Corporation after five years in radio, however, was not a moving goodbye with the tremolos in his voice.

Let’s get back to the facts. Last summer, following a complaint, the Radio-Canada ombudsman ruled that Stephen’s bureau should have corrected or redacted statements by its guest, the controversial French doctor Didier Raoult. Instead of apologizing, Stephen Biro angrily responded: “I’m going to crawl it to other people and apologize”.

Months later, he assures us that he has no grudges and that “99.9%” of the time, he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. He likes to point out that the Ombudsman is a parallel body separate from the SRC.

As for his new TVA bosses, he says he got a guarantee from them that he could invite anyone to his studio.

“One of our objectives is to make sure that we don’t destroy the antenna or the team, but to make sure that the ecosystem of our collaborators is not just Quebecer’s ecosystem. Not only did they agree, but that’s part of their objective.

“Public must play their part”

So let’s talk about this popular show, whose gestation was ultimately a long silent river.

Baptized first sit downThis “discussion and current affairs platform” aired in April as a rival to Sunday evenings. Everyone is talking about it.

However, after recording pilot emissions, its technicians assessed that the covers needed to be replaced. The big premiere has been postponed to September 16, which is the time to refine the concept.

Four months later, the show is now called The world is upside downIt airs on Friday evenings in a 90-minute format, with “no rush”, “all comments allowed” and above all, the presenter is happy to be in front of an audience. Studio.

The presence of an audience is very pleasing to Stephen Bureau, especially since the crowd is not one to applaud on command.

“The public has to play their part. Sometimes it will caste. We’re going to make sure we have representatives or people who are directly challenged by the things we can talk about, to return to these audiences on occasion to add to or restart the conversation.

Freedom of expression

Of course, we doubt this news junkie will ever jump into the debate arena, especially since he’s currently behind the scenes, scrolling through headlines that provide him with golden news. An upside down world.

Intuitively, he’s referring to the CRTC’s recent decision requiring Radio-Canada to apologize for using the “n-word.” “That would have been a theme. Not because of Radio-Canada, but because questions of freedom of expression interested me. »

While Quebec and Canadian issues are enough to fill his schedule, international news is not left out. A good example is US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan that angered China.

“You’d have to be very naive to believe that this won’t affect us and the Stephen Bureau is moving forward.”

In short, strong on September 16. “I can’t wait,” he concludes.

Jacques Parizeau: The interview that changed my life»

Arrival of the Stephen Bureau: A moving welcome to TVA

Photo by Jocelyn Michael,

The interview he had with Jacques Pariseau on the day of the 1995 referendum changed Stephen Birou’s life, and not because of the exclusive revelations Jacques Pariseau gave him during the victory or defeat of the Yes camp.

No, what marked the then 31-year-old host, and who led this historic interview on behalf of TVA, was the fever of the politician sitting in front of her.

“There were emotions, recalls Stephen Biro. It changed my life, not in the sense that it was a hunting trophy, but because it influenced my practice. I discovered and understood things that were very useful to me. The strongest of all. scoops, what I remember is the confidence and emotion that radiated. It’s a great lesson.”

Ask all the questions

Stéphan Bureau wants to continue to use this life lesson in his new show The world is upside downBut beware: don’t give way to emotional complacency or censure.

The media, which make up the Fourth Estate, have a serious responsibility in the democratic space to “ask questions, including nasty ones, of those who influence our lives.”

He regrets that in Quebec, as elsewhere, we have accepted that questions should be avoided, which he sees as a form of upstream censorship.

“Perhaps I am a dinosaur relic, but I refuse to think that there are questions that don’t arise, and it would be very disrespectful to assume that the person you ask in the first place can’t answer them.”

Christian spit

Throughout his career, he has not hesitated to agitate the politicians who paraded before him – talk about it with Jean Charest before the 2003 election – regretting the only question Stephan asked upon returning to the bureau Jean Chrétien. An economic mission to China.

“DVA did not send a reporter. When I returned, they were so proud of the results that they gave me an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister. It is rare to run after journalists. So I said, “Mr. Christian, you should be very happy because you will never call me or ask journalists to give interviews. It was awkward. Not in terms of consequences, because it went off the rails and it gave a moment of television, but I understand that he was in crisis. Actually, clumsy isn’t the right word. ran.”

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