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Australia’s Sorry Much Noted; French “Pub” Gets Scrubbed

  • February 13th, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

media.jpgNEWS MEDIA: A short media survey reflects acclaim for “sorry”, while in France, ads are set to be taken off the public television chains.


Lead treatment was given to news of the declaration of an apology to Australia’s “stolen generations”, some 50 000 children taken from their families between 1910 and 1970, and its general message of future good intent.

Headlines appeared in broadcast news including Germany’s DW, Euronews television and the BBC, though these had to tussle for attention with more local fare and news of another triumph in the US for Senator Barak Obama.

The International Herald Tribune delivered the essential:

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia’s tortured relations with its indigenous peoples Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs.”

Here and there, stirrings of ideology; England’s left-of-centre Guardian liking it, and slipping in the “R” word:

“Australian PM Rudd says sorry to Aborigines’ stolen generations: Historic apology for years of racist social planning …”

Much further afield, the story rated in benighted Kenya, on the national radio; in the Toronto Star; the UA Emirates’ Khajeel Times, and at 3:37 Mecca Time, on Al Jazeera:

“Australia’s prime minister has delivered an historic apology to the Aboriginal people in a gesture of reconciliation for injustices committed over two centuries of white settlement.”


The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced his intention to remove advertising from the three publicly-owned television chains.

Ministers said the move would clear prime time for better and faster news services; other supporters of the move declared that quality broadcasting and commercials didn’t mix.

It’s a reversal of trends towards more channels, and more commercialisation during the last two decades in Europe, and the world; not least Australia where viewers have just lately begun coping with ad breaks mid-program on the second national service, SBS.

Still, the French move was in part sanctioned by the market:

The national chains have been doing badly in the advertising stakes; the main channels, 2 and 3 , had lost over 20% of advertising bookings for the early part of this year; the others TF1 and M6 had fallen further behind.

The move will reduce the field of competition for commercially-owned chains which have been knocking back placements, and by tradition, everywhere, won’t mind the presence of adless state competitors if they soak up some of the demand for minority program interests.


“Et Sarkozy zappa la pub de la télévision publique”, (And Sarkozy flips off the ads on public TV), Le Monde, Paris, 12.2.08.