Euronews will bring to Africa its unique know-how as a multi-lingual and multi-cultural news channel, broadcasting around the clock
LYON, France, January 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – In 18 months time, Euronews (http://www.euronews.com) will have a sister channel in Africa. In partnership with the national television channel of the Republic of the Congo, Euronews will bring to Africa its unique know-how as a multi-lingual and multi-cultural news channel, broadcasting around the clock. Starting with English and French, and then adding other languages widely-spoken on the continent, Africanews aims to become the first Pan-African rolling news channel. The headquarters will be in Brazzaville and regional offices will be set up across the continent. Africanews will adhere to the same editorial charter as Euronews, guaranteeing its independence. The two networks will share their news, creating a synergy that will give Africa its rightful place in the world of news and give the world the latest news from the continent.
Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews S.A., and Jean Obambi, Managing Director of Télé Congo, signed on Saturday 25 January in Congo Brazzaville a cooperation agreement for the launch of a Pan-African news channel to be known as Africanews. Under the auspices of the President of the Republic of the Congo, Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, they formalised the partnership that will lead to the launch in the summer of 2015 of a bilingual news channel in French and English, to be followed by other major languages of the continent (Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, etc.). The headquarters will be in Brazzaville and regional offices will be set up across the continent.
Euronews, the top news channel in Europe, has developed a unique know-how in broadcasting. The channel produces 13 different language versions, 24/7. Its programmes are created by a newsroom of more than 400 journalists of 30 nationalities, and reach 400 million households in 155 countries.
At the signing of the agreement for Africanews, Michael Peters stated:
“Twenty 20 years after the launch of Euronews, we are breaking new ground in the world of news. Since 1993, Euronews has covered global news from a European perspective, speaking to viewers in their language. The company’s multinational shareholder base gives the channel the independence and the means to inform viewers without promoting any particular viewpoint. Its global success in terms of viewer numbers is proof of the channel’s professionalism and its ability to integrate diversity.
Euronews has the experience, the reputation and the resources necessary to convey this model which respects the values and value of different cultures. It is precisely this model of tolerance in a world of diversity that we hope to share with Africa, via Africanews, the first independent and multilingual news channel on the continent.
Africanews is different from existing channels because it aims to give Africa its rightful place in the world of news and to give the world the latest news from the continent which is itself a news market, in the same way and at the same level as other regions of the world.
Our strategic and highly ambitious project will not be a mere African “window” made by Euronews, as most international news channels do, but rather a full-fledged Pan-African network, with editorial choices made by Africans for an African audience.
To develop this project, we were lucky to have the help of Stephen Smith, a recognized specialist on Africa (see below: Stephen Smith and Africanews). Stephen, former Africa Editor for two French daily newspapers Libération then Le Monde, is providing advice and recommendations for the editorial and strategic aspects of Africanews.
The public television channel Télé Congo decided to join us in this adventure. Our teams will now begin the preliminary studies and organisational work to be ready to launch Africanews in 2015.
We take great pride in announcing this emblematic cooperation project and we are eager to launch this new player on the world media scene,” he added.
What will Africanews be like?
Africanews will produce news content focused on Pan-African news, for its television channel and related products, both linear and non linear (see below: Africanews in other media formats).
Africanews will have a team of 40 professional journalists and technicians based in Brazzaville, covering sub-Saharan news thanks to its regional offices and a vast pool of correspondents around the continent.
As soon as the channel begins broadcasting, flagship programmes and special reports will help give Africanews its truly African identity.
Africanews will freely choose, use and adapt the international news content produced by Euronews to create programmes for its own viewers. In the same way, Euronews will be able to pick up productions from its sister channel in Africa to round out the programmes it broadcasts around the world. Thanks to this synergy, Africa will benefit from wider international exposure as it becomes a key feature in the Euronews editorial line-up.
In keeping with the Euronews model, Africanews will be available from the start in both French and English. The goal is to then expand to include the other widely-spoken languages in Africa (Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, etc.), making it accessible to the largest number of African viewers.
The news teams at Africanews and at Euronews in Europe will adhere to the same editorial charter.
For all of its news teams, Euronews is the absolute guarantor of editorial independence and is responsible for the hiring of journalists; it continually monitors full compliance with the editorial charter.
Will Africanews be available in other media formats?
The content of Africanews will benefit from the extensive know-how of Euronews, making it as widely and easily accessible as possible for all types of users.
Starting with linear formats, offering TV broadcasts 24/7, live streaming of the channel on the internet, and then with live mobile applications and perhaps digital radio programmes.
The non-linear formats will start right away with the website and then gradually move into specific mobile applications, following the latest trends in media consumption on the continent.
For example, Euronews, at the cutting edge of mobile applications, has been selected by Nokia to be included in its new operating system, S40, soon to be released in Africa, one of the most dynamic markets for mobile phones.
Africanews will be accessible to a large number of people on the continent thanks to rebroadcasts by local partners and operators, with the support and expertise of Euronews’ international teams.
What is the business model for Africanews?
Africanews will be based on a model financed by advertising. It will then be able to develop by adding new public and private partners, in particular for the set-up of its regional offices around Africa and for adding new languages.
Advertising opportunities on Africanews will enable African and international advertisers to reach the African audience via a complete communication package: advertisements spread across the 24-hour schedule will cover all time zones and all formats including Africanews.com and then mobile applications, along with opportunities for sponsorship of TV and key online programmes (business, special reports, weather…) or linked to business and cultural events covered by the Africanews team of journalists.
Stephen Smith and the Africanews project
Recognised around the world for his expertise in African affairs, Stephen Smith supported Euronews from the very beginning of this ground-breaking project to develop an African media network. He worked with the Euronews management team in all phases of building the project. His advice and recommendations range from editorial aspects to strategy for Africanews. In close coordination with the Euronews teams, Stephen Smith will participate in creating the channel and ensuring its future development.
Stephen Smith, an American journalist, is most noted for his work as Africa Editor for Libération (1988-2000) and then for Le Monde (2000-2005), having earlier served as African correspondent for Reuters and RFI. He has written some 15 books and academic publications on the subject of Africa and, since 2007, has taught African Studies at Duke University in the United States.