France 24 was the first Western news channel to broadcast in Arabic, and from 2 p.m. (Paris time) on 27 April 2009, will extend daily broadcasting in Arabic from 4 to 10 hours, with a new format and a programming schedule running from 2 p.m. to midnight.
Since it was launched, France 24 has continued to grow its market share among its target audience of opinion leaders, 88%, 80% and 73% of whom, in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia respectively, say that they watch France 24, according to the most recent survey carried out by the TNS-Sofres institute (in January 2009).
The increase in the news channel’s continuous Arabic language coverage will enable it to reach new Arabic speaking viewers and internet users in the Near and Middle East, particularly in the Maghreb, but also in Africa, Europe or the United States.
This new format will enable France 24 to pursue its founding principle, and in particular that of its Arabic channel, to cover global news from a French perspective, promoting healthy debate and balanced ideas, and striving for an open outlook on international diversity and its pressing challenges.
Like the two other France 24 channels, in French and English, the Arabic channel will continue to follow the same editorial focus: news, economy, culture, sports and weather.
In its new format, the Arabic channel has been designed around a simple and regular schedule, with particular emphasis on live broadcasting and interactivity. There will be two main segments:
• From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.(Paris Time), presented by Hakim Beltifa from Sunday to Wednesday, and by Chady Chlela from Thursday to Saturday;
• From 6 p.m. to midnight (Paris Time), presented by Aziza Nait Sibaha from Sunday to Wednesday, and by Aziza Wassef from Thursday to Saturday.
These two segments will run a 13-minute news bulletin followed by a 2-minute reminder of the headlines on the hour and every half hour, together with recurring programmes including Face-Off, an international and Middle Eastern press review, the Correspondent Round Table, or the Press Club.
Another novelty will be that, following its success in French and English, France 24’s audience participation site, The Observers, will now be available in Arabic. The Observers, which was launched in December 2007, is a site that covers international news through the eyes of direct “observers”, namely people experiencing events on the ground. All content published on the site, whether in the form of videos, text or photos, is provided by amateurs, but selected, checked, translated and explained by journalists from France 24.
Under its Chief Executive Officer, Alain de Pouzilhac, its Chief Operating Officer, Christine Ockrent, and its General Manager in charge of news, programming and multimedia, Vincent Giret, France 24’s Arabic channel is managed by:
- Nahida Nakad, Deputy Director, Arabic Service
- Djenane Kareh Tager, Senior News Producer
Nahida Nakad also manages the Arabic department of l’Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France, where she will develop the synergies between France 24’s Arabic channel and the radio station Monte Carlo Doualiya.
The 36 journalists working on France 24’s Arabic channel are all bilingual or even trilingual, skilled in various areas and versed in new technologies.
They come from more than a dozen countries (Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, etc.) and work together in a spirit of openness in an open newsroom designed as an integrated multimedia platform.
When the France 24’s new Arabic format is launched, Alain de Pouzilhac and Christine Ockrent will travel to Cairo, Beirut, Algiers and Abu Dhabi, between 27 April and 6 May, accompanied by representatives of the editorial staff, in order to present the renewed ambitions of France 24’s Arabic channel and to inform the Arabic speaking world of the channel’s values and objectives.
Accompanying this launch will be an advertising campaign on the Al Jazeera channel, with the slogan ‘You don’t need more news, you need a new perspective’.
In the same way as during the launch campaign in 2006, France 24 has decided to have two promotional films made by the Vingt-neuf agency and produced by Wanda Productions, which express the special nature of the channel’s international news perspective.
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