Election big boost to TV and newspapers

22nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - France's presidential election is giving a major boost to TV audience figures and newspaper sales, as voters tune in to daily chat shows and scour the papers to pin down their choice of candidate.

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - France's presidential election is giving a major boost to TV audience figures and newspaper sales, as voters tune in to daily chat shows and scour the papers to pin down their choice of candidate.

"Voters are pretty undecided, they are dealing with relatively new personalities, a wide range of themes," explained Dominique Quinio, director of the Catholic daily La Croix.

"They are spending a lot of time debating with relatives and colleagues. To back up the talking they need to read up on the issues, listen in to the debate. It's good news for democracy, but also for the press."

Sales of most French newspapers and magazines are booming: the news weekly Le Point says its sales figures have jumped 20 percent since January, more than in any presidential election in 25 years.

Television and radio stations have packed their schedules with prime-time debates featuring candidates and experts, far more than during the 2002 election, with one show managing to beat a 10-year audience record.

More than eight million viewers tuned in to watch the right-wing frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist rival Segolene each confront a panel of voters on TF1 television.

Even the youth radio Skyrock has invited Sarkozy, Royal and their centrist rival Francois Bayrou on the air.

But the political daily Liberation -- which has shifted its editorial line leftwards under a new management -- says its sales appear to be tied to the fortunes of the Socialist candidate.

"When Segolene is doing well, our sales are good. When she is in trouble, we keep on selling, but not so much," said its managing editor Laurent Joffrin.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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