| According to a report in The Telegraph
(France), President Jacques Chirac has demanded that the blueprint
for the news service - already nicknamed "CNN a la Francaise"
- be ready by the end of this month as he has become increasingly
irritated by the "Anglo-Saxon" view of global events being
beamed into millions of homes and hotel rooms around the world.
He wants to challenge America's domination of international affairs
by extending French language and influence, the report adds.
"We've been concerned for a long time that the BBC and CNN
are reporting on events from a British or American perspective and
in English," a Government official is quoted as having said
in the report. "As recent events have shown, France may see
things differently and we feel it is important that we get our message
across," he added.
A Reuters report , however states that the French channel would
be a round-the-clock, global TV news channel modelled on US and
British news channels like CNN and BBC World. it further quotes
the French president as saying, "This is a legitimate aspiration
for our country and I would like to see it happen.Moreover France
needed to be more present in the battle of pictures,through TV sets
across the globe."
France's parliament had set up a committee in December 2002 to
study how such a TV operation could be financed and operated. The
committee is expected to publish its conclusions by June 2003.
"This would be something completely different. The target
audience would be foreigners, rather than French expatriates, the
idea being to offer a different viewpoint to existing news media
like CNN," one parliamentarian involved is quoted as having
said in the Reuters report.
France has a domestic cable news channel, LCI, owned by commercial
television group TF1, which broadcasts news bulletins, current affairs
programmes and interviews. However, it has limited international
Apart from CNN and BBC world, another popular 24-hour international
channel in Europe is Euronews, whose main shareholders are Britain's
ITN and public broadcasters in France, Spain, Italy and Russia.
Euronews is broadcast in seven languages and can be seen in Canada,
the Middle East, eastern Europe and Russia.