France 24 is a 24-hour multilingual international news network launched in December 2006. The Iraq War provided a major motivating factor for the creation of the channel. During the lead up to the War in Fall of 2002, members of the government were concerned that the French position against the war was not clearly articulated on existing French Networks. France 24 was conceived of as an alternative French voice to BBC and CNN. France 24 is available in French, English, and now in Arabic. Its annual budget for 2007 is $115 million.
Jacques Chirac made the first calls for an international news channel when he was French Prime Minister in 1987. While no action was taken, there were some proposals to unite several smaller broadcasting efforts into a larger umbrella body. In 1997, Jean Paul Cluzel, head of Radio France International advocated the creation of Téléfi, a super-network that would have fused all French international broadcastings into one body. However, it was not until 2002, when Chirac was strongly at odds with the United States and Great Britain about the war in Iraq, that serious moves were made. In a speech in February 2002, President Chirac expressed his concerns:
"Is it understandable that year after year, we keep deploring the persisting lack of French-speaking information and television programs on the world stage? (…) Everyone notices that we are still far from having a large international news network in French, able to compete with the BBC and CNN. Recent crises have shown how crippled a country and a cultural area are when they do not have a sufficient weight on the battle of images and waves."
Responding to Chirac's requests, Parliament made several inquiries into the new station and released several reports (see useful links for the reports); but the final launch was delayed over negotiations about the network structure. The European Union gave the green light for the creation of the network in June 2005. The original name was “CFII,” but was changed to “France 24” in June 2006 because it was considered much easier to pronounce by foreign audiences.
France 24 employs 170 journalists representing 28 nationalities. Every journalist must be bilingual in French and a second language. They are also required to sign "a code of ethics" in which they pledge to promote: a "diversity of opinions and points of view," "a sense of debate, confrontation, and contradiction,” and "the culture and the art of living a la Francaise."
The network is co-owned by commercial national network TF1 and state-owned France Télévisions. The station broadcasts across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Washington; with plans to expand throughout America and Asia within two years. Its main headquarters are in New York.
The contents of F24's French and English programs are similar. France 24 launched an Arabic version on April 2, 2007. For now, Arabic transmissions are limited to four hours a day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, the station promises to extend its Arabic programing to twelve hours daily by the beginning of 2008. France 24 is available in French, English, and now in Arabic; and has plans to launch a Spanish version in 2008.
France 24 launched its English language service amidst a crowded playing field of existing international news networks, including Al Jazeera English, Press TV and CITVC. France 24's President, Alain de Pouzilhac, who is a former advertisement company CEO, is however "confident about France 24’s singularity" : “We will be different,because the values that we defend contrast with those of the Anglo-Saxons.” He also spoke about presenting the news “with a French perspective” without clarifying what that means. It still remains uncertain what distinguishes France 24, but he clearly positions France 24 as an alternative to CNN.” “CNN is a unified perspective of the world from Washington,” he argues, “whereas France 24 tries to have a diversified perspective that is to say to recognize diversity of cultures and religions: that’s the French eye.”
Marc Owen, a British anchor for France 24 offers a similar input, explaining that the goal of the network is not to broadcast slanted news, but to be "alive to the influence France has in the world and illuminate stories by weaving some of that in to our coverage."
The network holds the same position in regards to Al Jazeera, pointing out the positive aspect France 24 can have on Arab-speaking viewers:
"Al-Jazeera has done a great job, but essentially it’s offering the Arabic perspective. We need something more. The role of France could be a special one thanks to its strong relationship with the Arab world in the last few decades, and because we weren’t involved in the Iraq war."
French scholar Bernard Cabedoche offered a thoughtful reflection on the positioning of France 24:
"France prefers the Kantian idea of perpetual peace organized by the discussion and the bylaw between international actors. The country rejects the promotion of one actor, auto-proclaimed the gendarme of the humanity to prevent the anarchy of the world described by Hobbes. However, the use of civilization remains pregnant in its public discourse, with all its most normative aspects: conquering (civilization and progress are intertwined); embodied (the West is The Civilization); proselyte (a duty of civilization falls upon it.)"
According to Lawrence Pintak, director of the Adham Center for Electronic Journalism at the American University in Cairo, it is a question of influence. "Media is about power and influence," he says, "and if you’re going to be a player in the world today, you have to have a television channel. "
Alain de Pouzilhac, in an interview given a few months prior to the launching, explains the channel's political goals:
"France 24 targets opinion makers all around the world, whether they are women and men working in politics, in media, in economics, in international organizations or in universities."
According to Pouzilhac, the Channel "also targets those I call ‘the new opinion makers.’ They represent 25 to 30 percent of the world population. They are fond of international news and use the new technologies to spread their opinions to one community.”
France 24 has also been eager to appeal to Internet-users and bloggers. During the French presidential election it created a website called The Observer  so that selected Internet-users from all over the world could give their opinion on the election and interact with one another. The enterprise seemed to have been successful, as France 24 has plans to replicate the initiative for important subsequent events.
France 24 is available by satellite, cable, and high-speed Internet connection. To avoid competition with TV5 Monde, another public French-language international network, France 24's status is prohibited by law to take any action that could destabilize TV5's in areas where that network is available.
No data is yet available on global viewing rates, but a study released data about France 24’s website reports that the 1.2 million visitors visited the website during the first month of operation . And a TNS/Sofres poll conducted during the network's first month found that between 20-40% of opinion makers in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Senegal, and Algeria had watched France 24 at least once .
TNS/Sofres conducted a poll in Algeria that found that in the three weeks following the France 24 Arabic's launch, 51 percent of Algerian opinion makers had watched France 24 at least once— it amounted to 34 percent in the previous survey, but at that time, it was only available in French.
All channels (* means both English and French channels have the same name)
- News (Le Journal + نشرة الأخبار): A comprehensive update on the latest world news every 30 minutes ;
- Weather (Météo +طقس): World weather report every 30 minutes ;
- The Observers (Les Observateurs + مراقبون): Videos and photos from viewers check by F24 staff in Paris ;
- Europe Now (L'Europe dans tous ses Étas + أوروبا اليوم): Go to 1 of 28 EU member states for exclusive reports and interviews with local MEPs ;
- France in Focus (7 Jours en France + 24 ساعة في فرنسا): In-depth look in political and social events shaping France ;
- Reporters* (مراسلون): In-depth reports by reporters and correspondents worldwide ;
- #TECH24* (تكنوفيليا#): The week's key technology news ;
- The 51% (Actuelles + هي الحدث): Meet women who are reshaping our world ;
- Eye on Africa (Le Journal de L'Afrique + النشرة األفريقية): All the news from Africa and Maghreb, with F24's guests and correspondents on set ;
- Revisited (Billet Retour + تذكرة عودة): Life after the headlines ;
- Down to Earth (Élément Terre + على هذه األرض): Sustainable solutions for our changing world ;
- The Debate (Le Débat + النقاش): Live debate at the day's topic with 4 guests ;
- The World this Week (Une Semaine dans le Monde + أسبوع في العالم): In-depth look at the week's international news ;
- Face-Off (Face-à-Face + حوار): Live debate for the latest French political developments with 2 Paris-based correspondents ;
- Encore! (À L'Affiche ! + ثقافة): Find out how writers and artists see the world ;
- The Business Interview (L'Invité de L'Éco + ضيف الاقتصاد): Key business leaders are put on the spot ;
- You are Here (Vous êtes Ici + أنتم هنا): Meet the people who keep French heritage alive ;
- Fashion (Mode + موضة): All the best in Parisian catwalks ;
- In the Papers (Revue de Presse + قراءة في الفرنسية): Overview of the newspaper headlines, also debates and day's stories live from the newsroom ;
- The Observers Direct (Ligne Directe + خط مفتوح مراقبون): Meet F24 observers and hear the stories they have alerted ;
- The Interview (L'Entretien + ضيف ومسيرة): Interviews with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy ;
- Live from Paris (Paris Direct + باريس مباشر): A live news segment with headlines every 15 mins, also business, sports, press reviews,...
Only on French and English channels
- Middle East Matters (Express Orient): The week's news in the Middle East ;
- Inside the Americas (Cap Amériques): All the news in North and South America ;
- Talking Europe (Ici L'Europe): Live debate for issues facing the EU ;
- Focus: An exclusive report from a F24's correspondent ;
- Mediawatch (Un Œil sur les Médias): Must-read stories from the Internet.
Only on English channel
- Across Africa: Political and social events in Africa ;
- Access Asia: Political and social events in Asia ;
- French Connections: Guide to understand France ;
- People and Profit: In-depth looks at major business stories and how they impact our lives ;
- Beyond Business: Business landscapes in France and the world ;
- My Two Cents: Douglas Herbert gives his take on the daily headlines.
Only on French channel
- Demain à la Une: Correspondents in all F24 channels take a live debate for the week's news ;
- Le Paris des Arts: Find out how artists see the world ;
- Le Duel de L'Éco: 2 economists take a live debate for the week's business news ;
- Le Gros mot de L'Éco: Explain several economic words like "Bitcoin", "CAC 40",... ;
- L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique: Interview with actors in economical competition ;
- La Semaine de L'Éco: Descriptions of the week's business news by specialists.
Only on Arabic channel (in brackets is English meaning)
- رياضة 24 (Sport 24): All the sports news and analysis in Europe and Maghreb ;
- حديث العواصم (The Capital City Debate): Live debate on key national and international issues in politics in a major Arab capital city ;
- الساعة المغاربية (The Maghreb Hour): All the news in Maghreb in 60 minutes ;
- صحة (Health): Up-to-date health and disaster information ;
- ضيف اليوم (Today's Guest): Addressing an important event that affect politics, also series of questions to clear image of fast-moving events that are happening around us ;
- باريس - تونس (Tunis - Paris): Visiting a Tunisian capital city and features most important events in this city ;
- وقف مع الحدث (Pause with Event): Dimensions for an event that happened in the news ;
- أسرار باريس (Secrets of Paris): Discover hidden and mysterious places in "the most beautiful city in the world" (once-monthly) ;
- في فلك الممنوع (The Society Debate): Live debate for social issues in the Arab world ;
- منتدى الصحافة (Press Forum): The press and media coverage of a world event with Arab reporters worldwide.
Before, 3 channels of France 24 were cut-and-paste copies of each other. But since 12/2013, they have broadcast different shows, different orders and different program schedules. Here's the current schedule:
English channel Edit
|Sports||The Debate||The World this Week||Sports + You are Here|
|00H30||News bulletin||News bulletin|
|Across Africa||France in Focus|
|Sports||Focus + Sports||Sports + The Observers|
|Access Asia||Encore!||The Interview|
|Reporters||Access Asia||Middle East Matters||Inside the Americas||People and Profit||France in Focus||Across Africa|
|People and Profit + You are Here||Eye on Africa||The 51%|
|Revisited||The Debate||The World this Week||Reporters|
|03H30||News bulletin||News bulletin|
|Encore! + Fashion||Encore! + You are Here|
|Talking Europe 1/2||The 51%||The Observers + You are Here||Reporters||#TECH24||Revisited||People and Profit|
|Talking Europe 2/2||France in Focus||Middle East Matters||Inside the Americas||Access Asia||Sports + France in Focus||The Interview|
|Across Africa||Eye on Africa||Revisited|
|People and Profit||Access Asia||Face-Off||The Interview||People and Profit||The 51%||Access Asia + Fashion|
|06H00||Live from Paris||News bulletin|
|Sports + French Connections||Sports + You are Here|
|Sports + You are Here||Sports + French Connections|
|The Interview||France in Focus|
|Sports + Encore!|
|Revisited||Across Africa + The Observers|
|Sports + French Connections||Sports + Fashion|
|People and Profit||The 51%|
|People and Profit||The 51%||#TECH24||Middle East Matters + The Observers||You are Here + Fashion||The Observers + You are Here||Reporters|
|Sports + The Observers||Sports + Fashion||Sports + You are Here||Sports + Access Asia||Sports + French Connections||The 51%||The Interview + You are Here|
|France in Focus||Talking Europe 1/2||Middle East Matters||#TECH24||Reporters||France in Focus||Across Africa|
|#TECH24||Talking Europe 2/2||Face-Off||The Interview||People and Profit||Encore!|
|Fashion + Encore!||You are Here + Encore!||Encore!||Talking Europe 1/2||People and Profit|
|Reporters||Revisited||France in Focus||The 51%||The Observers + You are Here||Talking Europe 2/2||#TECH24|
|13H00||Live from Paris||News bulletin|
|Reporters||The Observers + French Connections|
|Across Africa||The 51%|
|The Interview||France in Focus|
|Revisited||France in Focus + The Observers||#TECH24||The Observers + French Connections||Access Asia||Revisited||Reporters|
|The 51% + French Connections||Reporters||Face-Off||The Interview||People and Profit||Encore! + Fashion||Encore!|
|Talking Europe 1/2||Access Asia||Middle East Matters||Inside the Americas||Revisited||Access Asia||Talking Europe 1/2|
|Talking Europe 2/2||Face-Off||The Interview||People and Profit||The 51% + Fashion||The Observers + French Connections||Talking Europe 2/2|
|Encore!||France in Focus||Across Africa|
|Access Asia||Middle East Matters||Inside the Americas||Reporters||France in Focus||The 51%||The Interview|
|18H00||Live from Paris||News bulletin|
|Across Africa||#TECH24 + French Connections|
|Sports + You are Here||People and Profit|
|Sports + French Connections||Sports|
|The Interview||The Observers + French Connections|
|People and Profit + You are Here||France in Focus + Fashion|
|Talking Europe 1/2||#TECH24|
|Talking Europe 2/2||The 51%|
|Sports + #TECH24||Sports|
French channel Edit
|Demain à la Une 1/2||Le Débat||Une Semaine dans le Monde||Sports + 7 Jours en France|
|00H30||Le Journal||Le Journal|
|Demain à la Une 2/2||Le Paris des Arts|
|Actuelles||Le Journal de L'Afrique||Politique||Le Journal de L'Afrique||Sports + L'Entretien|
|01H30||Le Journal||Le Journal|
|Reporters||À L'Affiche !||À L'Affiche !||Billet Retour|
|La Semaine de L'Éco 1/2||7 Jours en France + Mode||L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique||Face-à-Face||À L'Affiche !||L'Invité de L'Éco||Sports + Dans les Hebdos|
|La Semaine de L'Éco 2/2||Billet Retour||Express Orient||Cap Amériques||Reporters||7 Jours en France||Les Observateurs + Vous êtes Ici|
|#TECH24||Le Débat||Une Semaine dans le Monde||Reporters|
|03H30||Le Journal||Le Journal|
|À L'Affiche !||À L'Affiche ! + Mode|
|7 Jours en France||Le Paris des Arts||L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique||Face-à-Face||L'Invité de L'Éco||Actuelles||Demain à la Une 1/2|
|L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique||À L'Affiche !||Demain à la Une 2/2|
|Billet Retour||Les Observateurs + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||Express Orient||Cap Amériques||Actuelles||7 Jours en France||Dans les Hebdos|
|Le Paris des Arts||Le Journal de L'Afrique||L'Entretien|
|06H00||Paris Direct||Le Journal|
|Sports + Dans les Hebdos||Sports + Le Gros mot de L'Éco|
|#TECH24||Les Observateurs + Vous êtes Ici|
|Sports + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||Sports|
|L'Entretien||L'Invité de L'Éco|
|Sports + Vous êtes Ici||Sports + Mode|
|À L'Affiche !|
|Les Observateurs + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||Ici L'Europe 1/2|
|People and Profit||Ici L'Europe 2/2|
|Billet Retour||Actuelles||#TECH24||Reporters||Les Observateurs + Vous êtes Ici||Demain à la Une 1/2||7 Jours en France|
|Sports + 7 Jours en France||Sports||Sports + Vous êtes Ici||Sports + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||Sports + Mode||Demain à la Une 2/2||#TECH24|
|Ici L'Europe 1/2||Les Observateurs + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||Billet Retour||7 Jours en France||#TECH24||Billet Retour||Reporters|
|Ici L'Europe 2/2||#TECH24||Mode + Face-à-Face||L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique||Dans les Hebdos||7 Jours en France + Mode||Le Paris des Arts|
|Mode + À L'Affiche !||À L'Affiche !||Vous êtes Ici + À L'Affiche !||Ici L'Europe 1/2||La Semaine de L'Éco 1/2|
|Reporters||7 Jours en France||Express Orient||Cap Amériques||Le Paris des Arts||Ici L'Europe 2/2||La Semaine de L'Éco 2/2|
|13H00||Paris Direct||Le Journal|
|Les Observateurs + Dans les Hebdos||Vous êtes Ici|
|Le Paris des Arts||Demain à la Une 1/2|
|L'Invité de L'Éco||Demain à la Une 2/2|
|#TECH24||Billet Retour||Le Paris des Arts||Les Observateurs + Vous êtes Ici||La Semaine de L'Éco 1/2||#TECH24||Les Observateurs + Dans les Hebdos|
|L'Entretien||7 Jours en France + Mode||Express Orient||Cap Amériques||La Semaine de L'Éco 2/2||À L'Affiche !|
|Vous êtes Ici||Reporters||Les Observateurs + Le Gros mot de L'Éco||À L'Affiche !||Actuelles||La Semaine de L'Éco 1/2||Ici L'Europe 1/2|
|Actuelles||L'Entretien de L'Intelligence Économique||Face-à-Face||L'Invité de L'Éco||Le Gros mot de L'Éco + Dans les Hebdos||La Semaine de L'Éco 2/2||Ici L'Europe 2/2|
|À L'Affiche ! + Mode||À L'Affiche !||Politique||À L'Affiche !||Billet Retour||Reporters|
|17H30||Le Journal||Le Journal|
|Le Paris des Arts||Express Orient||Cap Amériques||7 Jours en France||L'Entretien||Actuelles|
|18H00||Paris Direct||Le Journal|
|Demain à la Une 1/2||#TECH24|
|Demain à la Une 2/2||L'Invité de L'Éco|
|Sports + Vous êtes Ici||Les Observateurs|
|À L'Affiche !|
|Ici L'Europe 1/2||Sports|
|Ici L'Europe 2/2||7 Jours en France|
|Actuelles + Mode||Le Paris des Arts|
|#TECH24||Les Observateurs + Le Gros mot de L'Éco|
|À L'Affiche !|
|La Semaine de L'Éco 1/2||Sports|
|La Semaine de L'Éco 2/2||L'Entretien|
France 24 is at the core of a political debate regarding reform of French international broadcasting system. "A parliamentary report" released in October 2006 stressed the necessity of reorganizing French international broadcasting. In late April, in a joint op-ed to the daily Le Figaro, a few right-wing representatives urged changes, claiming that "the international broadcasting evidently suffers from a lack of political and administration management," they wrote. They also advocated the creation of a Public Interest Group (Groupement d’Interet Public) that would act similarly to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
In January 2007, "a new parliamentary report" advocated the fusion of France 24 with Radio France Internationale (RFI) to create a new powerful international broadcasting medium. Alain de Pouzilhac remains opposed to the idea. He considers an increased integration of TV and the Internet as the new model. He characterizes the radio/TV paradigm as "an outdated fifty-year old model." 
However, Antoine Schwarz, the head of RFI supports the idea: "Alain de Pouzilhac considers the interaction between the Internet and the old media to be essential. He is right. But this new medium, we can develop it together. There is no good reason to have competing websites."
- http://www.ddm.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Presse_Brochand.pdf Paper to the Prime Minister on the future network, September 24, 2003.
- http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/12/rap-info/i3589.asp#P440_70346 Parliamentary report on the structure and the funding of French international broadcasting, January 17, 2007.
- http://www.cahiersdujournalisme.net/pdf/14/18_Cabedoche.pdf Cadeboche B., "La construction de l’étrangéité, enjeu du projet de chaîne française d’information internationale", Les Cahiers du journalisme, Issue 14, Spring-Summer 2005.
- http://www.lefigaro.fr/medias/20061031.FIG000000169_france_sera_lancee_le_decembre.html Interview with France 24's head Alain de Pouzilhac for the French daily Le Figaro, October 31, 2006.
- http://www.liberation.fr/actualite/medias/245138.FR.php?rss=true Interview with Alain de Pouzilhac for the French daily Liberation, April 3, 2007.
- http://www.humanite.fr/journal/2006-12-06/2006-12-06-841665 Short chronology of the network from the daily L'Humanite, December 6, 2006.
- http://web.archive.org/web/20071029165359/http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/page-footer/press/f24TextImageParagraph/01/text_files/file/dossier-de-presse-UK.pdf Press Book
- http://web.archive.org/web/20061209063323/http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/news/world.html France 24 website (english)
- http://youtube.com/user/france24 France 24 on YouTube
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_24 France 24 on Wikipedia