LA CHAÎNE FRANÇAISE INTERNATIONALE D’INFORMATION

Je vous adresse en document attaché l’article du Daily telegraph (journal
anglais) relatif à la chaîne française internationale d’information (CFII). J’ai
été questionné en français par le journaliste (Colin Randall, correspondant à
Paris du Daily Telegraph) à la suite d’un billet d’humeur que j’avais commis sur
le fait que la chaîne n’allait émettre que 3 heures en français et qui avait été
publié sur des sites internet amis ; ce qui montre que les sites internet sont
très lus (merci à eux de publier nos courriels et communiqués).

Marc Favre d’échallens


Chirac’s dream of TV à la française suffers in the (English) translation

By Colin Randall in Paris
(Filed: 16/03/2006)

France’s television dream of mounting a challenge to CNN and the BBC has
suffered an embarrassing setback after claims that the new channel would
broadcast most of its output in English.

Starved of realistic funding for a 24-hour news station, CII is due to be
launched in December for transmission initially to Africa, the Middle East and
Europe. Its annual budget, met by the French taxpayer, will be £50 million,
about an eighth of CNN’s.

President Jacques Chirac promised a "CNN à la française" in the 2002 election
campaign and is committed to a station that will "spread the values of France
and its global vision throughout the world".

It was always known that part of the channel’s output would be in English and
Arabic but champions of the French language were appalled at suggestions that
its output in the language be less than four hours a day.

The satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé quoted Jean-Pierre Paoli, right-hand
man to CII’s head, Alain de Pouzihac, as saying: "It could be half in English,
half in French or a different proportion."

But it added that CII executives told counterparts at the state-owned France
Televisions, a partner with the private TF1 network in the venture, that French
language transmissions would be limited to three hours each morning. The rest,
Le Canard Enchainé said, would be "in the language of Shakespeare".

Mr Paoli was reported to have defended the proposal on the grounds that
English was a universal language, adding: "We are hardly committing an act of
high treason."

Marc Favre d’Echallens, of the Association for the Defence of the French
Language (DLF), expressed outrage that a station designed to give a "French
vision" of world affairs would contain so little in French.

"After

celebrating Trafalgar
with the English and making light of our own great
victory of Austerlitz, it probably follows that a publicly-funded French
television channel should end up broadcasting in English," he said.

"If all we get is a poor man’s version of what is already available, what is
the point of doing it at all?"

A spokesman for the new channel said: "Eighty per cent of our target audience
will be anglophone. If we want pluralism in the field of international
television news, we cannot ignore this. Our viewers will be opinion formers,
journalists and people who travel a lot, and the language most common to them is
English."