Tunisia: CFI helps TV/radio media rebuild


In the wake of the Tunisian revolution and with a view to assessing and prioritising needs properly, CFI dispatched Philippe Chauvet to conduct an assessment jointly undertaken with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). As part of its remit to serve state-funded French media operators acting to support southern operators, CFI conducted this assignment under the aegis of the French Embassy and submitted its findings to all interested operators.

These guidelines were also confirmed with one-off assignments conducted by representatives of the AEF or France Télévisions who, on their return, reported on the developments setting the pace each week for the reorganisation of the country as well as opportunities and fresh requests.

The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs affaires confirmed the forthcoming appointment of a Media Officer to monitor this programme on a long-term basis, working from the Embassy in Tunis. In order to respond to emergencies, CFI offered to dispatch a correspondent to Tunis who, up to the elections set at the end of July 2011, will be able to coordinate contacts and the logistical setup of the main initiatives in this sector.

The Tunisian state channel asked the French news channel France24 to come and share its savoir-faire on election coverage in a country that already has over 50 declared candidates.

Antoine Cormery will be supervising the editorial staff at ERTT, accompanied by two colleagues from the Arabic language newsroom, Taoufik Mjaied, Chief Editor and Adel Gastel, star reporter. The objective will be to meet the most pressing needs: writing political news subjects, interviewing politicians, preparing questions, following up on interviews, etc. This assignment has been organised by RFI with joint funding from France 24.

As for television, RFI staffs are moving in to support over 80 journalists at the Tunisian radio newsroom. The course will provide support for these professionals as they forge independent work practices to give state media its new-found legitimacy in the eyes of the public. This assignment was organised by RFI with joint funding from CFI.

TV activities also include organising pre-election debates with the ERTT (Tunisian broadcasting corporation) in Tunis. Further to the initial training courses conducted by journalists from France 24, several workshops are to help the ERTT newsroom to organise contradictory debates and lead discussions among candidates on their programmes. These workshops led by experts from France Télévisions are to address both technical and editorial issues. An initial session on framing was held from 9 to 13 May with Sophie Claudet and Frédéric Gaillard from France Télévisions.

Tunisian TV wished to broadcast a French newscast every day at 1.00 pm as from 9 May. Yves Bruneau, Chief Editor, will be providing the editorial staff with support during the remaining days of preparation. He will be supervising the staff during the first two days of broadcasting.

Graphics Designer Gilles Poplin will be going to Tunis with the Self Promotion Manager for France Télévisions, Cécile Chavepayre, in response to ERTT channel’s expectations with respect to revamping its general appearance at the same time as editorial content of its programmes and improving its identity and brand image.

At the initiative of ‘France Télévisions’ and the EBU and with CFI collaboration, the main international sponsors working towards the reconstruction of the Tunisian TV scene met in Paris to assess the emergency response and commit to a long-term support programme. UNESCO will be calling on the main European and international institutions to open up as many leads as possible to Tunisian operators.

After Montpellier and Casablanca, Tunis was the next venue for a session of Ulysse 2.0, a training course for young journalists on the theme 'Journalism and Internet' organised by CFI in partnership with the higher school of journalism ESJ Lille and the Permanent Conference of Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM). This workshop, scheduled from 30 May to 5 June, was an opportunity to review multimedia journalist techniques on Internet with new media players.
The EBU is bringing together experts from the main European partners to put forward to the Tunisian authorities a legislative foundation on which to base the coverage of the first free elections. Depending on requirements, the regulatory bodies and state-run operators will be attending this meeting. In light of requirements, CFI will suggest stepping up French presence according to opportunities.

Further to its initial emergency response, CFI will be offering the managers of state media corporations a medium-term plan of action. These proposals come in response to sustainable restructuring needs. CFI will take care to develop training courses on good journalist practices, provide the resources for television to fulfil its public service remit and foster professionalism among the new media players from civil society.

All the projects and initiatives organised or backed by CFI in Tunisia are coordinated by the CFI Department for the Mediterranean region and Asia. For further information and details please contact: Eric Soulier, Christophe Dehlinger,
Christophe Provins and Laurent Allary lay@cfi.fr