Jacques Duquesne: A Pillar of Journalism
The world of journalism has lost one of its pillars. On July 5, Jacques Duquesne died at the age of 93. Born in Dunkirk in 1930, he was a journalist, an engaged Catholic and a novelist.
His Engagement in Journalism
It was in 1957, after graduating from Sciences Po, that he began to make a name for himself by joining La Croix. The same year, he went to Algeria, then in the midst of war, and discovered the torture that had taken root there. He made it an obsession and, upon his return to France, he had a series of seven articles published entitled Suffering and Hope in Algeria. His writings, which denounced the torture and atrocities committed by the French army, then sparked controversy. To the point that in January 1958, the newspaper La Croix was banned from sale in Algeria. As for Jacques Duquesne, he was the subject of letters of abuse and threats.
His Writing Career
After La Croix, the journalist made a move to Panorama chrétien, then to L’Express where he was editor-in-chief from 1967 to 1971. But in 1972, he took a turn by contributing to the launch of The Point. He then became editor-in-chief, then deputy editor-in-chief before being its president and CEO from 1985 to 1990. Jacques Duquesne was also a recognized writer. In 1983, he even received the Prix Interallié for his novel Maria Vandamme (which was later adapted for the screen with Catherine Courage, 1990 or the Les Héritières saga in the 2000s). He also expressed his faith and Christianity in general through several books, including Jesus (1994) which had again caused a stir. And rightly so, he considers the virgin conception of Jesus by Mary to be “highly unlikely” as well as the idea of miracles. 150,000 copies were sold at the time. In any case, Jacques Duquesne never stopped getting involved in what he believed in. As recently as 2020, for example, he was president of the Association for the Support of the Principles of Humanist Democracy, owner of the Ouest-France group.