8:00 o’clock in the morning and you got magnetized by a grim view of sand, running people in uniforms, tanks, yells, rifles behind a reporter from the only spot of light in the room, the TV screen. What is he telling you? 6 soldiers killed in an ambush in Iraq ... Aargh! You feel crushed but, 8:02 o’clock, here’s the news presenter introducing the new initiative of your government on schools, and your child is running all around, and your memory is screaming you've got only 15 minutes left to: dress, jump in your car, pull together a mental asana before thrusting yourself into the city traffic.
But that’s local time, that’s national television, that’s your personal business, or is it?
A French friend, living in Sweden, enthused on how good it feels to watch the “JT” of TF1 - TV news at 1:00pm and 8:00pm on the main private news channel - as any citizen on French territory does, thanks to the Internet. I tried the 1:00 pm show yesterday. Fabulous!
With a light tone and an innocent smile punctuating almost each piece of information, the journalist guided me through France and the specific issues of a number of regions, after a broad overview of foreign and national problems. There were these areas exposed to flood risks where the government has decided that from now on, the residents will be taken care of by the local insurance companies. In the meantime in Marseille, fishers were lamenting the decline of sea urchins whereas in the markets of various towns, the shopping wicker basket from the 50's has reappeared after plastic bags have been gradually abandoned for environmental concerns. In the capital, an important exhibition is taking place, where city mayors can evaluate the new super modern radars for road traffic, flick through a book of ready-made speeches for beginners in the role, relax with some games and so on. Finally, according to the season, some advice is given for gardening and the second part of a miniseries on architectural France closes the 30 minute news edition.
I am in awe. First of all, I found out that French people have sorted out the question of plastic in supermarket, some time ago, while for instance in Great-Britain, the need to get rid of it is just arising. Still it is a concern shared by the two countries and I am interested to watch how similar the solutions are, not to mention the setting. But above all, it is the whole sequence of news that impressed me: that was like a reality show directed by a Tourist Board!
In fact, my immediate reaction was: Wow! People wandering leisurely with their shopping basket, among all that fresh, probably organic produce! Oh! That's the history of this fortress designed by Vauban. And aren't the sea, the sun, the clear sky behind the port an invitation to travel?
Well, now, I’m stung. I am curious to see what kind of news we are delivered everyday, wherever we are, and how they are packaged…