I've translated it as "The press are not independent" and I think this should be right. Yes?
"The press" refers to all the media forms/outlets. Treated as a single unit, it would be, "The press IS not independent." If you refer to the press as a collection of individuals, it would be, "Members of the press are not independent". Collective nouns take the singular verb when thought of as a single unit, but a plural verb or pronoun when thought of as a collection of individuals. Regional variations exist, including UK favoring the plural form and US tending to use the singular form. http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/collnounterm.htm
Many dialects of English use plural forms of a verb for collective nouns, so both should be valid.
Interestingly, the "rules" for collective nouns are the same in any grammar book you look at, ancient or modern, prescriptive of descriptive, British or American. But common usage has gone in two different directions, with Americans overwhelmingly preferring singular verbs and Brits tending towards the plural, especially where rock bands and sports teams are concerned.
This is reflected in Wikipedia where we have "Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band" but "Led Zeppelin" were a British rock band."
Right. I wasn't speaking about "rules" but how the nouns are actually used. I read BBC news and often note the plural use of nouns that Americans treat as singular.
La presse generally refers to print media (newspapers) http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/presse/63025 Les médias includes all forms of news media and could also be la presse. Since the sentence uses la presse, it is more direct to translate simply as "the press". http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/english-french/media/594547
good question. i was wondering if this was press as in media or press as in force. but i'm guessing in the topic of communication it's the media. probably just a DL oversight.