Monday, December 20, 2004

To Boldly Express the Diversity to Which France Is So Deeply Attached

More on France's CII satellite TV station (International Information Channel), aka the CNN à la française, from the International Herald Tribune's Doreen Carvajal:
… The notion of a new international channel is already creating uneasiness. Some critics contend that the project's costs have been underestimated, and labor organizations express a variety of concerns. The union for RFI, France's international radio station, is worried that the government will reduce RFI's budget to support the creation of the channel. And the union for journalists at the publicly owned France Télévisions has urged reporters to refuse to cooperate in the project, calling it a "parody of a news channel."

"What will be the credibility of an international channel that is led by a multinational with benefits that are dependent on good relations with the government?" the union said.

… French television has already been available for years on satellite through TV5, a consortium of French-language channels from France, Switzerland and Belgium that beams the French nightly news to cable viewers. But the difference is that this new channel will offer a more distinctive French voice, according to Brochand.

… Since 2002, Chirac has pushed for the creation of a French global channel to raise the country's diplomatic profile.

Sounds similar to the 1944 creation of Le Monde, non?
Last year he pressed again, arguing that France needed to raise its own voice in the "battle of footage" led by CNN and the BBC.
It is sad, indeed, to realize to what extent members of the "peace camp" have been tarnished by CNN and the BBC, while the Bush administration and its allies have been lauded by same…
This month, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced … that a new channel would offer the "diversity to which our country is so deeply attached."

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