Thursday, February 8, 2007

French TV gets scolded


The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), which regulates French television, has criticized TV channels ((TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal+ and M6) for "persistence of an imbalance" in the amount of time alloted to certain presidential candidates.

The CSA did a study on the number of minutes devoted to each candidate during the period from December 1, 2006 to February 2, 2007, and found that PS candidate Segolene Royal and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy each received 25% to 35% of on air time, with the UDF's Francois Bayrou getting roughly 6% to 12%. Jean-Marie Le Pen also fared in the single digits.

To be honest, the idea that a government body should support "affirmative action" for candidates seems a bit absurd. Every candidate has the right to run, collect signatures, and be on the ballot, but the idea that television channels should give an equal amount of time to a fringe candidate as they give to the next president of France goes a bit to far. And besides, then I would have to learn a lot more names...

If you would like to look at the actual data, click here. It's a pdf.

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