Exclusive interview: David-Hervé BoutinSeptember 5, 2006 at 9:05 am | Posted in France 24, Interviews | 1 Comment
In an exclusive interview with France 24, the Unofficial Weblog, David-Hervé Boutin, who is in charge of external relations at the new network reveals that France 24 received more than 4000 resumes over the summer to fill the 170 positions available in the newsroom. “The majority has already been hired,” Boutin says. “Everything is going well. Our studios are being finalized, and our journalists will start working mid-September,” he adds.
Boutin also tells F24-TUW that the network is still selecting the network of operators that will distribute France 24 around the world. Last week, F24 announced the selection of three satellites from Eutelsat for broadcast in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We will be ready around the first week of December to start broadcasting on the French feed, the English feed and in three languages over the Internet,” Boutin says. France 24 will only be seen in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and in two states in the U.S. at first. More countries will be added to this list in 2007 and 2008.
In France, Boutin does not expect France 24 to compete against national cable news networks such as La Chaîne Info (LCI), owned by TF1, or I>Télé, a subsidiary of Canal Plus. “These networks mainly cover national news,” Boutin says. “LCI for example has the ‘journal du monde’ once a day well France 24 will be the ‘journal du monde’ around the clock,” he adds referring to an international news program on LCI. France 24 content will be more international, Boutin says.
To do so, it will use the local bureaus already owned by its two major shareholders: TF1 and France Télévisions. “France 24’s architecture is different and new, but we will still use the network of bureaus owned by our shareholders,” he says. France 24 will also enter into partnerships with other companies such as the Agence France Press, RFI and AITV.
As for France 24’s future, Boutin expects the French parliament to continue supporting the project. France 24 received 80 million Euros for its first year. In France, the budget needs to be voted on every year. In May 2007, France will vote for a new president and parliament, but this should not have any effect on the future of the network. “It’s an idea that goes beyond political criteria,” he says. “We are talking about French influence in the world.”