France 24 has anounced that its Arabic language programming will launch April 2. It will be available free-to-air on Middle Eastern satalite services reaching over 25 million people.
Time magizine, the largest American newsweekly, has an article up on France 24.
The interesting bit is the speculation on what the upcoming French election will mean for France 24’s funding. The newschanel is President Chirac’s baby, and between Sarkozy on the right and Royal on the left, Chirac has no natural heir to his cultural hypernationalism and the expenisve France 24 will have no gauranteed allies in the new government no matter what the outcome of the election.
Considering the current fiscal troubles of the French state and the absurdity of funding two international channels, something has to give.
The question is will France 24 survive?
The implication of the author is that France 24 has precious little time to prove its worth.
A network that broadcasts in English from France with a special focus on Africa and the Middle East is bound to have lots of voice-over translating to do.
But someone forgot to tell France 24 that when you do a voice over you have to turn down the volume on the original language.
Please. Turn down the volume.
In a very encouraging development, France 24 has commisioned a multi-national poll asking citizens about withdrawal from Iraq.
Perhaps not surprisingly a majority of people in every country polled wanted the American forces to withdraw.
What’s exciting, however, is France 24’s decision to commision the poll in the first place.
Most national cable news orginizations are involved in national polling in some way. CNN partners with Gallop in the United States, for example. But this is the first time I’ve seen a international poll comissioned by an international news channel. Such polls are usually done by orginizatoins like the Pew Center and are fascinating in their own right.
But when a news orginization comissions a poll it naturally gets more coverage. The Internatoinal Herald Tribune, perhaps the most influental English-language daily in the world picked up the story.
With this poll France 24 is partnering with Harris Interactive, a respeted American polling firm who often works with the Wall Street Journal and Le Monde, the largest French daily.
With all this going for it The France 24 Poll looks like a winner.
The new “Beyond Business” segement recently featured a piece that refered to the agro-conglomerate Bunge as “she”. [sic]
Now would be a good time to explain the very, very rare circumstances in the English language where a gender pronoun is used for inanimate things.
It doesn’t work for companies, and even with countries it sounds a bit antiquated.
A very good TV advert for France 24. If you happen to know the name of the song please let us know.