16 December 2006

French News

Dear readers,

Enjoying a prolonged medical leave in France, I have unfortunately the occasion to be submitted daily to the French TV evening news. In my case, there is a twist, as we don't have access to anything else than the normal analog TV channels (6 in France), without any cable, numeric broadcast or satellite connexion. Which means I have the choice between TF1 and France2 for a half hour news, Arte or M6 for a short 6 to 8 minutes news or France3 for the regional 20 minutes news. The choice is easy as none is very satisfying. At least, the shortest ones focus on really important news (where the risk of mistake is minimal) and the regional news are limited obviously to the area around my parent's place, which means I don't need it, because I don't live there. So what about the long (national) ones. Well, it is awfull. International news (usually limited to one or two topics about the Middle-East or Russia) are brushed aside, while national politics are usually discussed in annoyingly useless details (like the color of the skirt of the socialist candidate)... The whole rest is boring topics such as how mobile phone can be recycled or the replanting of trees in a park after a tempest. 20 minutes of nothingness, full of language mistakes, poor vocabulary and condescending stupidity.

I am not a snob, I think, but I believe TV can be better than this. French media are usually very critical of Anglo-saxon press, and I often agree. But for TV news, they should rather attempt to inspire themselves of what is done on the other side of the Channel or even the Atlantic Ocean. If French newspaper have nothing to learn from English or American ones, French TV channels have a lot to do before they can dream of reaching the level of US or UK information news channels. And it is not going to happen soon when one see the level of competence of Fench TV "journalists"...


Anonymous said...

Since the beginning of december, you can look at the news on France 24 with a cable or satellite connexion, or on internet www.france24.com . What do you think about this "tv channel" which is an association between France Television group and Bouygues' TF1 group.

Jean-Baptiste Perrin said...

I haven't had the time to check on it yet. But I think the idea is interesting. There are continuous info channels in English and Arabic. But not in French. So we'll see if it works and what type of coverage it gives.