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
Question: Is the American approach to news different?
Philippe Cayla: What does that say about our respective cultures? I think the U.S. is more of a consumer society than Europe because our history is more conscious of the historical and political environment, more weary of what may happen in other neighboring countries. The U.S., you are like in a “happy island”, you know? So you don’t need to know so much about what is going on in the rest of the world. And as a result, tragic events like September 11th cause … I think September 11th has very much marked the spirits here in the U.S., but it has created some kind of monopoly in its international news. You get … all of what you get is related to September 11th and to the terrorism issue. And there’s not much about other international political issues. Well in Europe, of course, we didn’t have September 11th, but we had some terrorist actions as you saw recently in Scotland and in London. So there is some terrorism, so we are conscious of that. But … and of course, there is something, we put it on breaking news and report on that. But we know that is a difficult background. And we know that this background is not going to be … very rapidly. And so our political agenda is not monopolized by that. We have a more diverse approach to international news, and we try to cover more international political stories, I would say.