French Arab-language broadcaster said ill-served by new holding company
October 9th, 2009 - 15:13 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

French Arabic-language radio Monte Carlo Doualiya believes it has not been well served by the creation of French Foreign Broadcasting holding company AEF. An experts’ report commissioned by MC Doualiya, which broadcasts in Arabic to the Middle East and Persian Gulf countries, pointed to a “lack of balance” between the country’s Arab-language broadcasters, AFP news agency reported on 5 October, quoting broadcasting bulletin Satellifax. These broadcasters are currently Paris-based MC Doualiya, Radio France Internationale (RFI) and France 24, the agency recalled.

While RFI said it had largely resolved the issues raised by the MC Doualiya report and director Genevieve Goetzinger explained that “reporting is undertaken solely on a voluntary basis” and work is in hand to provide training in reporting for MC Doualiya, problems with France 24, AFP said.

The creation of AEF, chaired by Alain de Pouzilhac, had resulted in “rapprochements” with the France 24 news network, with shared correspondents and management and jointly-produced programmes. However, the report said, “this synergy between the two broadcasters can be seen in staff movements but only in one direction from MC Doualiya to France 24″ while radio editors feel “their work has been taken away”. Moreover, “several people from MC Doualiya who were asked by managers to undertake work” for both broadcasters “refused to work for France 24 and lost the work”.

The report also highlighted “a lack of organization” and unspecified quality “problems”, AFP revealed.