Sarkozy to scrap English-language France 24 television
Sarkozy said Tuesday that France will stop funding the English-language version of round-the-clock news channelPARIS, January 8, 2008 - President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that
France will stop funding the English-language version of round-the-clock news
channel France 24, calling for a new French-only network to replace it.
"With taxpayers' money, I am not prepared to broadcast a channel that does
not speak French," Sarkozy told a press conference.
Launched in December 2006 by Sarkozy's predecessor Jacques Chirac, France 24 now broadcasts parallel services in French, English and Arabic, with the aim of challenging the dominance of English-language market-leaders BBC World
and CNN. It had been due to launch a Spanish service later this year.
Sarkozy said a new channel, France Monde (France World), would be created
"as fast as possible, at any rate this year", grouping the resources of the
existing networks Radio France Internationale, TV5 television, and France 24.
He said details of the new organisation "remained open to debate" but that
"a public channel, France Monde... can only speak French."
"Between Al-Jazeera, the Arab perspective, and CNN, the Anglo-Saxon
perspective, we would like to carry more of a French perspective," he said.
"We can perfectly have regional subtitling, in Spanish, Arabic, English, to
carry a vision that is more French."