'Speak francais', barks French TV watchdog

1st February 2005, Comments 0 comments

February 1, 2005, PARIS - France's broadcasting authority, the Conseil superieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), has urged French television and radio stations to "try to use French in their programme titles", which means that popular shows such as Star Academy and Loft Story could be renamed to comply with the recommendation.

February 1, 2005

PARIS - France's broadcasting authority, the Conseil superieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), has urged French television and radio stations to "try to use French in their programme titles", which means that popular shows such as Star Academy and Loft Story could be renamed to comply with the recommendation.

The CSA recommendation invokes a law that came into force in 1994.

"It is hard not to notice and, worse still, not to act in the face of the profusion of English or anglicised words on television and the radio," it says.

Its recommendation, published earlier this month, is intended to "set the record straight ... without damaging freedom of expression, while at the same time trying to maintain the intelligibility of audiovisual communication and the identity of our culture".

French daily newspaper Liberation playfully reported that "Ze Conseil superior of ze audiovisuel" was urging channels to "speak francais, plize", and suggested changing the name of Loft Story to "Une histoire de local a usage commercial ou industriel amenage en local d'habitation" and Fear Factor to "La peur du facteur".

France's main channel TF1 says it has no plans to change the title of its flagship programme Star Academy which just finished a fourth run and is due to resume in September this year.

The CSA has a range of sanctions available, including revoking a broadcaster's licence to operate, imposing fines and taking a broadcaster to court. So far, however, it does not have any plans to do so in this case.

Created in 1989, one of the CSA's responsibilities is the protection and regulation of the use of French on television and radio. Although the recommendation on programme names mainly affects private television channels, the CSA also regulates the use of French on public channels.

It also polices the use of quotas on French radio which requires stations to play at least 40% of songs in French.

© Expatica France 2005

Subject: French News

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