French international broadcasting to be rationalized? (updated again)

Posted: 01 Sep 2007   Print   Send a link
"The government intends to settle the tricky issue of foreign radio and television broadcasting by the end of the year. And for a very good reason, 300 million euros are spent each year to finance the various uncoordinated entities which make it up. Ranging from TV5 to France 24, without forgetting RFI or CFI." Le Figaro, 27 August 2007. "Radio France International (RFI) went back on the air in Niger, having been silenced by the authorities for a month." AFP, 23 August 2007. French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner: "The fragmentation of our international audiovisual system, its lack of coherence, means and visibility merit a general reflection. By the end of the year, together with the culture ministry, I would like to have completed a proposal for a structure regrouping the operators TV5, France 24 and RFI and mobilizing them for new objectives including a common Internet portal." Reuters, 27 August 2007. "During my stay in Baghdad I could once again notice the huge impact of Arab and US TV channels. Owing to the lack of a strong French international broadcasting network we are not heard as we should. The scattering [in many operators] of our international broadcasting system, its lack of coherence, of resources and visibility require a global assessment. By the end of this year I would like to see a proposal jointly agreed [by all broadcasters] to bring together the operators – TV5, France 24, RFI – and to marshall their energy for new objectives such as a major common Internet portal" France diplomatie, 27 August 2007 (translated by Morand Fachot). Update: President Sarkozy: "The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has the same means as France's overseas broadcast media, but a much stronger visibility and influence. This is not about copying a model, but about creating the conditions for a coordinated and efficient conduct of our overseas broadcast policy (radio, television and Internet)." AFP, 31 August 2007. "Mali has one of the most vibrant and free press in the West Africa region and its newspapers have been filled with comment on the situation since the first attack last week, although journalists say they still rely on French broadcaster Radio France Internationale and the Agence France Presse for substantive news about events in the north." IRIN, 31 August 2007.