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Nine things to know about FRANCE 24 on its 7th birthday

© P. René-Worms/FRANCE 24

Text by Sylvain ATTAL

Latest update : 2013-12-09

New apps, new look, new websites.… Friday, December 6, marks seven years since the launch of FRANCE 24 and, as managing editor for new media Sylvain Attal explains, it is a particularly special birthday for the channel.

In just seven years, FRANCE 24 has grown to become a major global media company whose channels are broadcast to more than 250 million households around the world. Now, on the day of our anniversary, it is time to talk about our relationship with you, our audience.

If you are reading this article, then you have already chosen to keep in touch with us through "new media". But new media is not just about websites (already old media for some), but also smartphone and tablet apps and internet-connected TV. On these platforms, we recorded an average of 14 million visits a month and more than 40 million page views in the first half of 2013 (source: Digital Analitix), as well as 2.5 million followers on Facebook and another 1.5 million on Twitter.

For this anniversary, however, the whole of FRANCE 24 is coming together to cross the threshold into a new era in its existence. You will discover the full extent of the changes on December 12, but for now, here is a glimpse of what is to come.

Broadcasts will be completely "re-styled" with new visuals and sounds.

  • A preview of some of our brand new programmes, along with some of those already on air.
  • A new mobile app for iOS (Apple) devices has been available for download since the end of October. A Windows 8 version was launched at the start of 2013 and an Android app is set for release at the start of next year.

December 12 will also see the launch of our redesigned websites. After four years without change, the new sites will offer an entirely new user experience.

The nine things to know about the new sites

  1. They will automatically adapt to fit the screen size of the device you use to access them, whether it's a PC, smartphone or tablet.
  2. If you want to use the websites primarily to access our broadcast content, whether live or "on demand", our new video player will allow you to transform your PC, tablet or smartphone into a television screen. For the millions of people who live in parts of the world where FRANCE 24 is not yet available on satellite television packages, this will make a huge difference.
  3. If it is more the quality of our online news offering that attracts you to us, this will be made even better through a greater emphasis on the image (both still and moving), though always in the service of content. The homepage will be clearer and easier to read. At a glance you will be able to find the latest news stories, analysis, in-depth reports, programmes, multimedia content (webdocs), etc.
  4. We are handing you the controls, allowing you to choose how you access the news. By default we will propose a hierarchy of news - one of the (last?) prerogatives of professional journalists to which we still remain attached - but at the same time, we won't impose it on you. You will have the choice of applying your own filters on the news, according to your tastes and preferences, at the click of a button.You can choose to see stories as they break in chronological order, ranked by the number of comments on social networks, or in order of the most read. Or you can opt to see the news in images only. The vertical (rather than horizontal) menu bar will give you easy access to the various sections of the site (France, Africa, Blogs, etc).
  5. In the same vein, since you, our readers, are coming to us more and more via social networks and search engines, we will offer ways for you, with every article you read, to find related content, whether in the same section, on the same subject, on our sites or elsewhere on the web. Again, we know that the more we open doors, the more likely you are to keeping coming back to us.
  6. Social networks play an ever more important role in our lives, whether for better or worse. On our part, we hope to contribute to the better. That is why we have decided to incorporate these platforms into our home page. There will no longer be news sites on one side and Facebook pages, Twitter and Google+ accounts on the other. We want to stay in tune with our audience, conscious that you are our ambassadors on the web. If you like something then tell us, and do the same if there's something you don't like. But most importantly, tell us why! We want to be an organisation dedicated to news, but also conversations.
  7. Your favourite programmes, ones you miss, ones you want to watch again or those you've heard talked about will all be more easily accessible. Each will have its own space on the site, linked with its social community. FRANCE 24 has already innovated in the sphere of "social TV" with the programme The Debate and will continue to do so with other broadcasts, be it as a second, third or first screen.
  8. A new section is born: Special Reports. Here you will find everything you need to dig deeper into the news: webdocumentaries (such as FRANCE 24's award-winning 2013 webdoc Iranorama), multimedia productions, infographics, data journalism, etc. We are more than ever determined to dig beneath the surface of the news.
  9. All this would mean nothing if it were not all part of a demanding editorial policy. We hold values of which we are proud and which we want to carry with us throughout the world, but at the same time without showing arrogance. We are the heirs (I like this term) of a vision at once both very French and very global - something we won't compromise on. No doubt this is due to the fact that our team consists of journalists from such different backgrounds. We believe France is defined more by certain values and a cultural identity (and less so Identity Cards!). Most of all, we must not forget that our shared humanity must be placed before all else. We believe in equality, between men and women and those of different beliefs. We believe the freedoms made possible by new information technology offer incredible opportunities. And finally, we believe that we still have a role to play in organising these new ways of sharing information, in giving them meaning. In short, and I realise it as I write, we believe in the new motto of FRANCE 24: Liberté, Égalité, Actualité (Liberty, Equality, News).


Date created : 2013-12-06