Can journalists be objective?

Philippe Cayla has been Chairman and CEO of EuroNews since 2003. A graduate of the Ecole des Mines de Paris, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, Cayla began his career as a civil servant in the Equipment, Industry and Foreign Trade Ministries and as a technical advisor to the French Minister of Foreign Trade, Michel Jobert. From 1985 to 1992, Cayla was the Sales and Finance Director, the Strategy Director and finally the Deputy Managing Director and Strategy Director for Matra-Marconi Space, Europe's largest spacecraft manufacturer and a provider of communications ground terminals, sub-systems for rocket launchers and supplies for the International Space Station. In 1993, Cayla joined Eutelsat, one of the world's leading providers of satellite infrastructure and telecommunications. Cayla began working in television directly in 2000, when he became Director of International Development at France Televisions. At EuroNews he succeeded Stewart Purvis. Ideas recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival on: 7/2/07

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TRANSCRIPT

Question: Can journalists be objective?

Philippe Cayla: It's always difficult, of course to be sure, to be objective. The fact that our journalists are seven around the table guarantees, in some sense, objectivity. Because if one would put too much on his side, maybe it would be prevented by the others to do it. So it's some kind of guarantee. What I have observed in other medias is that being national, they have a national line. They have national kind of thinking. Our French competitors, and English competitors, and German competitors have their national way of thinking. And they try to approach their audience with this way of thinking. I don't say it's bad. I don't say it's … what we do. It's different. Our line is different from the others, let's say, in this way. We think there is no other broadcaster, no other news channel doing the same thing as we do. And that differentiates us from the others. There is also national. If you want to know what French think, watch a French national channel. What Germans think, watch a German national channel. And if you want to know what Arabs think, watch Al Jazeera in English, which exists already. But of course, in the course of time, you will be bored in getting only the story always from the same angle. So we try to take things from very various angles. We think it's our particularity. For the time being, I don't know of any other channel doing the same thing that we are doing. So I'm happy with that, and we make very good audience figures, by the way. We are very constantly improving our audience figures. And so for the first time, in June this year we overcame CNN International in Europe. We have now more than seven million viewers per week, which is ahead of CNN, BBC World, and all the other channels. So we are happy.

Recorded on: 7/2/07

 


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