Arnaud Müller : “The field is where you get a real sense of the societal issues”

Arnaud Müller is a reporter and documentary filmmaker. He worked for Le Vrai Journal on Canal+ and co-wrote the book Mémoires de mineurs. He is interested in social and environmental issues. Four years ago, he launched the series « Toc toc », broadcast on France Télévisions and Spicee, to give citizens a voice.

By Rachel NOTTEAU, Amanda MAYO and Karine PFENNIGER

  • Arnaud Müller makes an alarming observation: the field is abandoned by journalists in favor of inexpensive television debates.
  • With his camera, he ventures alone into territories less covered by the media to strengthen ties with the French.
  • He encourages future journalists to follow this approach.

Arnaud Müller’s job? Knocking on doors. After a long career dealing with hard news and observing a decline in on-the-ground journalism, he launched a journalistic format to get closer to citizens. « The field is where we feel the societal issues, » he says. Müller regrets that the same images are broadcasted in a loop on 24-hour news channels, with which viewers do not identify.

To go out and back into the field, he pursues a different method from the traditional media. He doesn’t make any phone calls and doesn’t try to stage the people he will film. « I want to explore the grey areas, the complexities of our society, which are little shown on television, » says Müller.

Without preconceived ideas, he goes to the homes of local people to create a discussion on a current topic. In the « Knock Knock » series, Müller does not hide his point of view.

During his first immersion, he went to Picardy to film the first demonstration against Emmanuel Macron, the then newsly elected president. He also filmed inhabitants of a village in the Ardèche who were opposed to vaccination and measures against Covid-19, in order to understand their reluctance.

Far from the communicators who « have taken over the journalists, » Arnaud Müller stops to discuss with the people he meets. He spends time with citizens, filming sequences of life. « I have the impression of interfering in people’s real lives, » he confides.

Very optimistic about this journalistic approach, he even encourages future journalists to follow this path: « You take a small camera, a good microphone and off you go! You have no excuses, » he encourages them.

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