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French Media - RADIO

98% of the French have at least one radio and 80% listen to the radio at least once a day, whether it be a public or a commercial radio station. There are approximately 1,800 radio stations in all.

Public Broadcasting

Public broadcasting means the national radio and television broadcasting companies, including Radio-France, which is made up of:-

France-Inter, a general interest radio station which aims to appeal to all  listeners and offers a schedule of news, music, game shows, discussion programmes, magazine programmes and other items.

France Culture, the  "intellectuals'" radio station, which follows debates in current thinking, invites writers and artists to speak, analyses their work and broadcasts (mainly classical) music.

France Musique, which is largely a classical music station (with both live and recorded broadcasts), also includes contemporary music in its schedule.

France Info, whose team of fifty journalists present non-stop news bulletins 24 hours a day.

F I P, which  helps Parisians negotiate the traffic jams with a schedule of modern, jazz and classical music free of comment and occasionally interrupted by short news bulletins, job offers and information about shows and events.

Radio bleue, which has a schedule of easy listening (French music and songs) for the over-fifties.

Le Mouv', a new station broadcast from Toulouse, which is aimed at 15 to 25-year-olds.

These radio stations are financed by TV licence fees of 735 francs a year and by the State. Some broadcast non-commercial advertisements.

In addition to the national radio stations, there are about forty local radio stations.

Radio France internationale (RFI) is now an independent company. It offers programmes in eighteen languages, is broadcast by satellite and can be listened to in all five continents.

RFO (Société nationale de radio et de télévision française d'outre-mer or Radio France overseas) comprises 9 radio stations and television channels in the overseas departments and territories which broadcast local programmes and some of the programmes of France Inter.


The Private Sector

There are two types of radio station in the private sector:-  private radio stations sometimes called les périphériques (i.e. broadcasting from neighbouring countries), which have a general interest schedule of news, music and competitions and are received all over France. These include:-

Europe 1, which broadcasts from Saarland in South-west Germany, but has about 150 transmitters in France and thirty of so studios in Paris. It is broadcast on long wave and FM and has two music station subsidiaries (Europe 2 and RFM).

RTL (Radio Télé Luxembourg), which has studios in Paris, linked to a transmitter in  Luxembourg. This station is also broadcast on both long wave and FM and has a music subsidiary,  RTL 2.

RMC (Radio Monte-Carlo) is broadcast all over France, but most listened to in the south-east.

Sud Radio  is the smallest of these stations: it broadcasts from Toulouse to the south-east and south-west.

Local Private Radio Stations, Commercial and Non-commercial

Commercial radio stations are financed by revenues from advertising. Either they are affiliated  to a national network and broadcast 80% of its schedule, producing their own programmes for the other 20%  or they are independent and produce most of the programmes in their schedules.

The most noteworthy are:- NRJ, the big success of the last few years and a favourite with young people; RFM; Fun Radio; Radio classique; Radio Nostalgie, Skyrock, Chérie FM, and Chante France; but there are many others.

Non-commercial Radio Stations

These are often run by voluntary associations and financed by their members. Sometimes they receive local subsidies, and they can carry advertising (up to 20% of their budget).

Frequently, such radio stations serve a particular community or faith (as is the case for Africa n° 1, Beur FM, France Maghreb, Radio Orient, Judaïques FM, Radio Notre-Dame, Fréquence protestante) or sometimes a particular body of opinion, like Radio libertaire (which is anarchist) or Radio courtoisie (which has a right-wing listenership).

Private local radio stations are generally listened to by young people (aged 15-25) living in towns and cities.

Listeners to the périphériques are generally over 25 and live in cities with a population of over 100,000.

Public broadcasting (Radio France) has an older audience, which tends to live in big cities.


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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:58:17 ZULU